Background & aims
The specific association of olive oil consumption with coronary heart disease (CHD) or stroke has not been totally established.
Objective: to examine whether olive oil consumption is associated with subclinical atherosclerosis, the risk of total cardiovascular disease (CVD), CHD, and stroke.
Three cohorts were included: AWHS (2318 men), SUN Project (18,266 men and women), and EPIC-Spain (39,393 men and women). Olive oil consumption was measured at baseline using validated questionnaires.
In the AWHS, 747 participants had a positive coronary artery calcium score (CACS>0), and the OR (95% CI) was 0.89 (0.72, 1.10) in those with virgin olive oil consumption ≥30 g/day (v. <10 g/day). In the SUN Project (follow-up 10.8 years) 261 total CVD cases occurred, and the HR was 0.57 (0.34, 0.96) for consumptions ≥30 g/day (v. <10 g/day). In the EPIC-Spain (follow-up 22.8 years) 1300 CHD cases and 938 stroke cases occurred; the HRs for stroke according, 0 to <10 (ref), 10 to <20, 20 to <30, and ≥30 g/day of olive oil consumption, were 0.84 (0.70, 1.02), 0.80 (0.66, 0.96), 0.89 (0.74, 1.07). A weaker association was observed for CHD. The association was stronger among those consuming virgin olive oil, instead of common (refined).
Olive oil is associated with lower risk of CVD and stroke. The maximum benefit could be obtained with a consumption between 20 and 30 g/day. The association could be stronger for virgin olive oil and might operate from the early stages of the disease.