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For the record

"Mediterranean diet reduces heart attacks" Image

"Mediterranean diet reduces heart attacks"

On Tuesday 27th February the Guardian reported on a study that found that "eating a Mediterranean diet rich in either extra-virgin olive oil or nuts cuts by 30% the chances of those at risk of heart attacks or strokes suffering either event or dying of a heart condition." Similar articles also appeared in The Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail.

Nigel Hawkes, former director of Straight Statistics responds:

"The study combined three possible endpoints – heart attack, stroke, and death from cardiovascular causes – and investigated whether diet affected the total number of such events, added together. It did. But if we just look at the data for deaths from cardiovascular causes, the numbers are small and the differences between those on the Mediterranean diets and the control group are not statistically significant. So the study did not show that a Mediterranean diet reduces your risk of dying from heart attack or stroke, or from dying of any cause. What it did show was that eating a Mediterranean diet reduces your risk of a stroke as this was the only part of the combined endpoint to reach statistical significance when taken on its own." 

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