Dietary inflammatory index or Mediterranean diet score as risk factors for total and cardiovascular mortality

A. M. Hodge, J. K. Bassett, P. A. Dugué, N. Shivappa, J. R. Hébert, R. L. Milne, D. R. English, G. G. Giles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Aims: Dietary patterns are associated with risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). We aimed to examine associations of the Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII) and the Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS) with total, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality in the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study; and compare the strengths of the associations. Methods and Results: In our prospective cohort study of 41,513 men and women aged 40–69 years, a food frequency questionnaire was completed at baseline and mortality data were obtained via linkage with local and national registries over an average of 19 years follow up. At baseline, questionnaires were completed and physical measures and blood samples taken. Cox proportional hazards models, adjusting for age, alcohol consumption, sex, region of origin, personal history of CVD or diabetes and family history of CVD, were used to assess associations between dietary scores and mortality. More Mediterranean or less inflammatory diets were associated with lower total, CVD and CHD mortality. The hazard ratio for total mortality comparing the highest and lowest quintiles was 1.16 (95%CI: 1.08–1.24) for DII; and 0.86 (95%CI: 0.80–0.93) comparing the highest and lowest three categories of MDS. Using the Bayesian information criterion, there was no evidence that the DII score was more strongly associated with total and CVD mortality than was the MDS. Conclusions: The MDI and the DII show similar associations with total and cardiovascular mortality, consistent with the consensus that plant-based diets are beneficial for health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-469
Number of pages9
JournalNutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Dietary inflammatory index
  • Epidemiology
  • Mediterranean diet score
  • Mortality
  • Prospective

Cite this