Study Title
Consumption of Olive Oil and Risk of Total and Cause-Specific Mortality Among U.S. Adults

Marta Guasch-Ferré, PHD, Yanping Li, PHD, Walter C. Willett, MD, DRPH,a Qi Sun, MD, SCD, Laura Sampson, RD, Jordi Salas-Salvadó, MD, Miguel A. Martínez-González, MD, Meir J. Stampfer, MD, DRPH, Frank B. Hu, MD, PHD


Olive oil consumption has been shown to lower cardiovascular disease risk, but its associations with total and cause-specific mortality are unclear.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether olive oil intake is associated with total and cause- specific mortality in 2 prospective cohorts of U.S. men and women.

The authors used multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional-hazards models to estimate HRs for total and cause-specific mortality among 60,582 women (Nurses’ Health Study, 1990-2018) and 31,801 men (Health Professionals Follow-up Study, 1990-2018) who were free of cardiovascular disease or cancer at baseline. Diet was assessed by a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire every 4 years.

During 28 years of follow-up, 36,856 deaths occurred. The multivariable-adjusted pooled HR for all-cause mortality among participants who had the highest consumption of olive oil (>0.5 tablespoon/day or >7 g/d) was 0.81 (95% CI: 0.78-0.84) compared with those who never or rarely consumed olive oil. Higher olive oil intake was associated with 19% lower risk of cardiovascular disease mortality (HR: 0.81; 95% CI: 0.75-0.87), 17% lower risk of cancer mortality (HR: 0.83; 95% CI: 0.78-0.89), 29% lower risk of neurodegenerative disease mortality (HR: 0.71; 95% CI: 0.64-0.78), and 18% lower risk of respiratory disease mortality (HR: 0.82; 95% CI: 0.72-0.93). In substitution analyses, replacing 10 g/d of margarine, butter, mayonnaise, and dairy fat with the equivalent amount of olive oil was associated with 8%-34% lower risk of total and cause-specific mortality. No significant associations were observed when olive oil was compared with other vegetable oils combined.

CONCLUSIONS Higher olive oil intake was associated with lower risk of total and cause-specific mortality. Replacing margarine, butter, mayonnaise, and dairy fat with olive oil was associated with lower risk of mortality.

October 18, 2021
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