Several studies have determined an association between unhealthy eating habits and the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, no relationship between healthy eating patterns and the risk of CVD has been derived. This study aims to examine the association between healthy eating patterns and the risk of incident CVD.

This prospective cohort study included a total of 209,133 women from three studies: NHS (n=74,930), NHS II (n=90,864), and HPFS (n=43,339). The participants were assessed based on the Alternate Healthy Eating Index (AHEI), Healthful Plant-Based Diet Index (HPDI), Alternate Mediterranean Diet Score (AMED), and Healthy Eating Index–2015 (HEI-2015). The primary outcome of the study was the incidence of fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular disease events.

During 5,257,190 of follow-up, a total of 23,366 incident CVD cases (CHD and stroke) were reported. Pooled multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for various exposures were as follows: AHEI (0.79), HPDI (0.86), AMED (0.83), and HEI-2015 (0.83). The findings also suggested that a 25-percentile higher dietary score was associated with a 10-20% reduced risk of cardiovascular events, including CHD and stroke.

The research concluded that healthy eating patterns in the long-term were significantly associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease events, like stroke and CHD.