(HealthDay News) — Greater adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet is tied to a decreased left ventricular (LV) mass, according to a study published in The American Journal of Cardiology.

Hannah Gardener, ScD, from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, assessed diet and LV mass (using echocardiography) in 1,937 participants of the Northern Manhattan Study (mean age, 67 years; 39% men; 58% Hispanic, 20% white, 20% black). Mediterranean diet adherence was scored.

The researchers observed an inverse association between the Mediterranean diet score and LV mass. LV mass was 1.98 g lesser for each 1-point greater Mediterranean diet score, after controlling for demographics, behavioral risk factors, diabetes and blood pressure (BP) variables. 

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For those with scores of 6 to 9, average LV mass was 7.30 g less than those with scores of 0 to 5. When adjusting for BMI, this association was weakened, but remained statistically significant.

“In conclusion, greater adherence to a [Mediterranean-style diet] is associated with decreased LV mass, an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and this association may be partly mediated by obesity,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Gardener H et al. Am J Cardiol. 2015;115(4):510-514.