Prior knowledge of the mediterranean diet is associated with dietary adherence in cardiac patients

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Context: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the United States, and cardiovascular events have been shown to be reduced and prevented when patients follow the Mediterranean diet. Objective: To understand how familiarity with the Mediterranean diet affects dietary habits in cardiology patients by using social cognitive theory. Method: This cross-sectional study included patients at a metropolitan outpatient cardiology clinic in Oklahoma. A survey was used to analyze patient knowledge of the Mediterranean diet. Patients were separated into low–, medium–, and high–diet adherence groups based on their daily consumption of fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, and nuts. Multinomial logistic regression was used to analyze patients’ knowledge of Mediterranean diet principles with dietary adherence. Results: A total of 337 patients were included in the study. Patients with a college education, patients reporting familiarity with the diet, and women were 6.7, 4.0, and 3.2 times as likely, respectively, to have strong adherence to the Mediterranean diet. Conclusion: The finding that familiarity with the Mediterranean diet was closely associated with adherence to its principles indicates that patient education on heart-healthy diets may improve the eating habits of patients, especially patients at risk for cardiac events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-188
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Osteopathic Association
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • Dietary adherence
  • Dietary education
  • Health behavior change
  • Mediterranean diet
  • Social cognitive theory


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