Javascript is not activated in your browser. This website needs javascript activated to work properly.
You are here

Direct association between diet and the stability of human atherosclerotic plaque.

  • Isabel Goncalves
  • Elisavet Georgiadou
  • Sören Mattsson
  • Göran Skog
  • Luís Pedro
  • José Fernandes E Fernandes
  • Nuno Dias
  • Gunnar Engström
  • Jan Nilsson
  • Kristina Stenström
Publishing year: 2015
Language: English
Publication/Series: Scientific Reports
Volume: 5
Full text:
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group

Abstract english

Mediterranean diet has been suggested to explain why coronary heart disease mortality is lower in southern than northern Europe. Dietary habits can be revealed by isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) measurement of carbon (δ(13)C) and nitrogen (δ(15)N) in biological tissues. To study if diet is associated with human plaque stability, atherosclerotic plaques from carotid endarterectomy on 56 patients (21 Portuguese and 35 Swedish) were analysed by IRMS and histology. Plaque components affecting rupture risk were measured. Swedish plaques had more apoptosis, lipids and larger cores, as well as fewer proliferating cells and SMC than the Portuguese, conferring the Swedish a more rupture-prone phenotype. Portuguese plaques contained higher δ(13)C and δ(15)N than the Swedish, indicating that Portuguese plaques were more often derived from marine food. Plaque δ(13)C correlated with SMC and proliferating cells, and inversely with lipids, core size, apoptosis. Plaque δ(15)N correlated with SMC and inversely with lipids, core size and apoptosis. This is the first observational study showing that diet is reflected in plaque components associated with its vulnerability. The Portuguese plaques composition is consistent with an increased marine food intake and those plaques are more stable than those from Swedish patients. Marine-derived food is associated with plaque stability.


  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems


  • Cardiovascular Research - Immunity and Atherosclerosis
  • Medical Radiation Physics, Malmö
  • Vascular Diseases - Clinical Research
  • Cardiovascular Research - Epidemiology
  • ISSN: 2045-2322
E-mail: jan [dot] nilsson [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Lund University Diabetes Centre, CRC, SUS Malmö, Jan Waldenströms gata 35, House 91:12. SE-214 28 Malmö. Telephone: +46 40 39 10 00