A comparison between two healthy diet scores, the modified Mediterranean diet score and the Healthy Nordic Food Index, in relation to all-cause and cause-specific mortality.Br J Nutr 2018; 119(7):836-846BJ
High adherence to healthy diets has the potential to prevent disease and prolong life span, and healthy dietary pattern scores have each been associated with disease and mortality. We studied two commonly promoted healthy diet scores (modified Mediterranean diet score (mMED) and the Healthy Nordic Food Index (HNFI)) and the combined effect of the two scores in association with all-cause and cause-specific mortality (cancer, CVD and ischaemic heart disease). The study included 38 428 women (median age of 61 years) from the Swedish Mammography Cohort. Diet and covariate data were collected in a questionnaire. mMED and HNFI were generated and categorised into low-, medium- and high-adherence groups, and in nine combinations of these. Multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HR) of register-ascertained mortality and 95 % CI were calculated in Cox proportional hazards regression analysis. During follow-up (median: 17 years), 10 478 women died. In the high-adherence categories compared with low-adherence categories, the HR for all-cause mortality was 0·76 (95 % CI 0·70, 0·81) for mMED and 0·89 (95 % CI 0·83, 0·96) for HNFI. Higher adherence to mMED was associated with lower mortality in each stratum of HNFI in the combined analysis. In general, mMED, compared with HNFI, was more strongly associated with a lower cause-specific mortality. In Swedish women, both mMED and HNFI were inversely associated with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. The combined analysis, however, indicated an advantage to be adherent to the mMED. The present version of HNFI did not associate with mortality independent of mMED score.