Mediterranean, DASH, and Alternate Healthy Eating Index Dietary Patterns and Risk of Death in the Physicians' Health Study.Nutrients. 2021 May 31; 13(6)N
Our primary objective was to examine the associations of the Mediterranean (MED), the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), and the Alternate Healthy Eating Index (AHEI) diet with total mortality. Our secondary objective was to examine the association of these three dietary patterns with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer mortality.
Design and Methods: We prospectively studied 15,768 men from the Physicians' Health Study who completed a semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaire. Scores from each dietary pattern were divided into quintiles. Multivariable Cox regression models were used to estimate hazard ratio's (95% confidence intervals) of mortality.
At baseline, average age was 65.9 ± 8.9 years. There were 1763 deaths, including 488 CVD deaths and 589 cancer deaths. All diet scores were inversely associated with risk for all-cause mortality: Hazard ratios (95% CI) of all-cause mortality from lowest to highest quintile for MED diet were 1.0 (reference), 0.85 (0.73-0.98), 0.80 (0.69-0.93), 0.77 (0.66-0.90), and 0.68 (0.58-0.79); corresponding values were 1.0 (reference), 0.96 (0.82-1.12), 0.95 (0.82-1.11), 0.88 (0.75-1.04), and 0.83 (0.71-0.99) for DASH diet and 1.0 (reference), 0.88 (0.77-1.02), 0.82 (0.71-0.95), 0.69 (0.59, 0.81), and 0.56 (0.47-0.67) for AHEI diet, after adjusting for age, energy, smoking, exercise, BMI, hypertension, coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, diabetes, and atrial fibrillation. For cause-specific mortality, MED and AHEI scores were inversely associated with lower risk for CVD mortality, whereas AHEI and MED scores were inversely associated with lower risk for cancer mortality.
Within this cohort of male physicians, AHEI, MED, and DASH scores were each inversely associated with mortality from all causes.