Public Health Nutrition

Assessment and methodology

Dietary pattern, a modifiable risk factor that can be easily assessed for atherosclerosis vascular disease prevention in clinical practice

Guillaume Mahea1 c1, Marie Carsina2, Maya Zeenya3 and Jean-Paul De Bosscherea2

a1 Laboratoire d’Explorations Fonctionnelles Vasculaires, CHU Angers, 4 rue Larrey, F-49933 Angers Cedex 9, France

a2 Department de Médecine Générale, Université de Rennes, Rennes, France

a3 Department de Nutrition et Diététique, Université Saint-Joseph, Beirut, Lebanon


Objectives Nutrition is one of the modifiable risk factors of atherosclerosis vascular diseases (VD). We aimed to (i) evaluate the dietary patterns associated with VD in clinical practice using a validated FFQ; and (ii) determine potential independent sociodemographic and behavioural factors that are involved in such dietary patterns. The FFQ determined the vascular dietary score (VDS; ranges from −17 to 19) for each subject.

Design Cross-sectional study.

Setting A general practitioner's (GP) office in 2009.

Subjects A total of 250 French subjects (18–84 years old).

Results A total of 21 % had a favourable vascular diet (VDS ≥ 8), 79 % needed to improve their diet (VDS < 8) and 21 % had a risky vascular diet (VDS ≤ −1). A step-by-step multivariate linear regression analysis with stepwise selection was performed using the VDS as a dependent variable. Significant variables were: age (β = 0·495, P < 0·0001), men (β = −0·282, P < 0·0001), ‘sport ≥1 h/week’ (β = 0·253, P = 0·001), ‘walking 20 min/d’ (β = 0·161, P = 0·012), ‘former smoker’ (β = 0·118, P = 0·029), previous nutritional advice (β = 0·105, P = 0·049), ‘alcohol ≥20 g/d’ (β = −0·216, P < 0·0001) and ‘primary school’ (β = −0·156, P = 0·010). The R2 coefficient of this model was 0·347 (P < 0·0001). In all, 88·7 % of the subjects found the evaluation very interesting and 89·6 % believed that the GP should perform it.

Conclusions Simple dietary assessment for VD prevention can be easily performed in clinical practice to allow physicians to give objective and rapid advice for each patient. Age, educational status, alcohol consumption, gender and physical activity are associated with the VDS. Compliance with such evaluation was found to be very high, which should encourage larger dietary screening in the population in order to reduce the impact of VD.

(Received August 26 2009)

(Accepted April 22 2010)

(Online publication July 06 2010)


c1 Corresponding author: Email,