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Table 1 Cohort characteristics according to adherence to the Mediterranean diet at baseline of the EPIC-Norfolk Study (n = 23,902)

From: Prospective association of the Mediterranean diet with cardiovascular disease incidence and mortality and its population impact in a non-Mediterranean population: the EPIC-Norfolk study

Characteristics Mediterranean diet score (MDS), basis of scoringa
The Mediterranean diet pyramid (PyrMDS) Published literature (LitMDS) Medians of dietary intake (mMDS) Tertiles of dietary intake (tMDS)
Low High Low High Low High Low High
n = 7898 n = 7898 n = 7730 n = 8351 n = 7903 n = 6266 n = 8927 n = 8574
Age (years) 59.4 (9.4) 58.2 (9.0)c 58.8 (9.4) 58.6 (9.1) 59.2 (9.3) 58.4 (9.1)c 59.1 (9.3) 58.7 (9.1)c
Sex, men (%) 56 32c 58 32c 44 45 46 42c
Education level (%)
 School until age 16 years 10 11 10 10 11 11 10 10
 School until age 18 years 38 42 40 42 38 43 38 43
 Bachelor’s degree or above 8 19c 10 16c 10 17c 10 17c
Marital status, married (%) 84 79c 83 80c 80 83 81 82
Smoking status (%)
 Current 16 8 17 8 16 7 15 8
 Former 42 41c 42 41c 38 45c 38 45c
Physical activity level (%)
 Moderately inactive 26 31 27 30 28 29 28 30
 Moderately active 23 24 23 24 22 24 22 24
 Active 19 19c 19 19c 17 22c 17 20c
Occupational status (%)
 Unskilled worker 6 3 5 4 6 3 6 3
 Skilled worker 63 52 60 54 61 53 61 51
 Manager or equivalent 28 39 30 38 29 38 28 39
 Professional 4 5c 4 5c 4 5c 4 5c
Family history of diabetes (%) 13 13 13 13 13 14 13 13
Family history of MI (%) 34 39c 34 38c 34 39c 35 38c
Family history of stroke (%) 24 25 24 25 24 24 24 24
Season of FFQ administered (%)
 Spring 27 27 26 28 26 27 27 27
 Summer 24 26 24 26 25 26 25 25
 Autumn 25 25b 26 25 25 25 25 25
Prevalent diabetes (%) 3 3 2 4c 3 3b 2 3c
Use of anti-hypertensive drug (%) 16 16 15 17c 16 17 16 17b
Use of lipid-lowering drug (%) 1 1c 1 2c 1 2c 1 2c
Use of HRT among women (%) 31 43c 29 43c 38 35c 37 37c
Body mass index, kg/m2 26.4 (3.8) 26.1 (3.9) 26.3 (3.7) 26.2 (4.0) 26.3 (4.0) 26.3 (3.8) 26.2 (3.9) 26.2 (3.9)
Waist circumference, cm 90 (12) 86 (12)c 90 (12) 86 (12)c 88 (12) 88 (12)c 88 (12) 87 (13)c
Systolic BP, mmHg 137 (18) 133 (18)c 136 (18) 134 (19)c 136 (18) 135 (18)c 136 (18) 135 (19)c
Diastolic BP, mmHg 83 (11) 81 (11)c 83 (11) 82 (11)c 83 (11) 82 (11)c 83 (11) 82 (11)c
Total cholesterol, mmol/L 6.2 (1.2) 6.2 (1.2) 6.2 (1.2) 6.2 (1.2) 6.2 (1.2) 6.1 (1.1)c 6.2 (1.2) 6.2 (1.2)
HDL cholesterol, mmol/L 1.4 (0.4) 1.5 (0.5)c 1.4 (0.4) 1.5 (0.4)c 1.4 (0.4) 1.5 (0.5)c 1.4 (0.4) 1.5 (0.5)c
LDL cholesterol, mmol/L 4.0 (1.0) 3.9 (1.1)c 4.0 (1.0) 3.9 (1.1) 4.0 (1.0) 3.9 (1.0)c 4.0 (1.0) 3.9 (1.0)b
Triglycerides, mmol/L 1.9 (1.2) 1.7 (1.0)c 1.9 (1.1) 1.7 (1.0)c 1.8 (1.1) 1.8 (1.1)c 1.9 (1.1) 1.7 (1.1)c
QRISK2 score, %d 19.4 (13.3) 16.5 (12.4)c 18.7 (13.1) 17.3 (12.7)c 18.8 (13.3) 17.3 (12.7)c 18.6 (13.1) 17.6 (12.9)c
  1. EPIC, European Prospective Investigation of Cancer; FFQ, food frequency questionnaire; BP, blood pressure; HDL, high-density lipoprotein; LDL, low-density lipoprotein; HRT, hormone replacement therapy; MI, myocardial infarction
  2. aSummary statistics in mean (SD) or percentages for extreme groups of thirds (assigned ensuring approximately equal numbers of observations per group) of each Mediterranean diet scores based on 23,694 participants with baseline FFQ. For each of the Mediterranean diet scores, ordinal scores were assigned to participants (see methods, Additional file 1: Table S1 and S2 for details)
  3. bP < 0.05 and cP < 0.01 for an association between a Mediterranean diet score and each row variable
  4. dPredicts 10 year risk (%) of cardiovascular diseases