Diet and primary prevention of stroke: Systematic review and dietary recommendations by the ad hoc Working Group of the Italian Society of Human Nutrition

L. Iacoviello, M. Bonaccio, G. Cairella, M. V. Catani, S. Costanzo, L. D'Elia, R. Giacco, D. Rendina, P. Sabino, I. Savini, P. Strazzullo, B. Biffi, M. Bonaccio, G. Cairella, A. Casini, M. V. Catani, S. Costanzo, F. Garbagnati, G. Gensini, R. GiaccoL. Iacoviello, M. L. Luisi, A. Pinto, D. Rendina, P. Sabino, A. Salvia, I. Savini, G. Sandri, L. Scalfi, U. Scognamiglio, P. Strazzullo, Working Group for Nutrition and Stroke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and aims: To systematically review the latest evidence on established and emerging nutrition-related risk factors for incidence of and mortality from total, ischemic and haemorrhagic strokes. The present review was conducted in the framework of the work carried out through 2015 and 2016 for the preparation of the Italian Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Stroke, 8th Edition, by ISO-SPREAD (Italian Stroke Organization and the Stroke Prevention and Educational Awareness Diffusion). Methods and results: Systematic review of articles focused on primary prevention of stroke published between January 2013 to May 2016 through an extensive search of the literature using MEDLINE/PUBMED, EMBASE and the Cochrane Library. Articles were ranked according to the SIGN methodology while the GRADE system was used to establish the strength of recommendations. As a result of our literature search, we examined 87 meta-analyses overall (mainly of prospective studies), a few isolated more recent prospective studies not included in the meta-analyses, and a smaller number of available randomized controlled trials and case–control studies. Based on the analysis of the above articles, 36 Syntheses of the available evidence and 36 Recommendations were eventually prepared. The present document was developed by organizing the available evidence into three individual areas (nutrients, food groups and dietary patterns) to provide a systematic and user-friendly overview of the available evidence on the relationship between nutrition and primary prevention of stroke. Yet analysis of foods and food patterns allowed translating the information about nutrients in a tool more amenable to use in daily life also in the light of the argument that people eat foods rather than nutrients. Conclusions: The present literature review and dietary recommendations provide healthcare professionals and all interested readers with a useful overview for the reduction of the risk of total, ischemic and haemorrhagic stroke through dietary modifications.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jan 1 2018


  • Diet
  • Dietary recommendations
  • Nutrition
  • Stroke
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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