High Olive Oil Consumption May Prevent Stroke in Elderly

High olive oil use and plasma oleic acid associated with lower incidence of stroke in elderly

THURSDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- High olive oil consumption is associated with a decreased risk of stroke in older people, according to a study published online June 15 in Neurology.

Cécilia Samieri, Ph.D., from the University of Bordeaux in France, and colleagues investigated whether high olive oil consumption, and high levels of plasma oleic acid as an indirect biomarker of olive oil intake, were associated with lower incidence of stroke in subjects aged 65 years and older with no previous history of stroke. Olive oil consumption was estimated in 7,625 participants (main sample) and plasma oleic acid levels were assessed in 1,245 participants (secondary sample). Participants were followed up for an average of 5.25 years, during which time the incidence of stroke was estimated based on diagnosis validated by an expert committee.

The investigators identified 148 incident strokes in the main sample and 27 in the secondary sample. Higher olive oil use was significantly associated with a lower incidence of stroke after adjusting for sociodemographic and dietary variables, body mass index, physical activity, and stroke risk factors. Intensive olive oil users had a 41 percent lower risk of stroke than those who never used olive oil. After adjusting for all variables, higher plasma oleic acid was significantly correlated with reduced stroke incidence. Compared to the participants in the first tertile of plasma oleic acid, those in the third tertile had a 73 percent lower stroke risk.

"These results suggest a protective role for high olive oil consumption on the risk of stroke in older subjects," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial relationships with the pharmaceutical, health care, and nutrition industries. The study was partially funded by sanofi-aventis.

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