Association Between a Social-Business Eating Pattern and Early Asymptomatic Atherosclerosis

José L. Peñalvo, Leticia Fernández-Friera, Beatriz López-Melgar, Irina Uzhova, Belén Oliva, Juan Miguel Fernández-Alvira, Martín Laclaustra, Stuart Pocock, Agustín Mocoroa, José M. Mendiguren, Ginés Sanz, Eliseo Guallar, Sameer Bansilal, Rajesh Vedanthan, Luis Jesús Jiménez-Borreguero, Borja Ibañez, José M. Ordovás, Antonio Fernández-Ortiz, Héctor Bueno, Valentin Fuster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background The importance of a healthy diet in relation to cardiovascular health promotion is widely recognized. Identifying specific dietary patterns related to early atherosclerosis would contribute greatly to inform effective primary prevention strategies. Objectives This study sought to quantify the association between specific dietary patterns and presence and extent of subclinical atherosclerosis in a population of asymptomatic middle-aged adults. Methods The PESA (Progression of Early Subclinical Atherosclerosis) study enrolled 4,082 asymptomatic participants 40 to 54 years of age (mean age 45.8 years; 63% male) to evaluate the presence of subclinical atherosclerosis in multiple vascular territories. A fundamental objective of this cohort study was to evaluate the life-style–related determinants, including diet, on atherosclerosis onset and development. We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of baseline data, including detailed information on dietary habits obtained as part of the overall life-style and risk factor assessment, as well as a complete vascular imaging study that was performed blinded to the clinical information. Results Most PESA participants follow a Mediterranean (40% of participants) or a Western (41%) dietary pattern. A new pattern, identified among 19% of participants, was labeled as a social-business eating pattern, characterized by a high consumption of red meat, pre-made foods, snacks, alcohol, and sugar-sweetened beverages and frequent eating-out behavior. Participants following this pattern presented a significantly worse cardiovascular risk profile and, after adjustment for risk factors, increased odds of presenting subclinical atherosclerosis (odds ratio: 1.31; 95% confidence interval: 1.06 to 1.63) compared with participants following a Mediterranean diet. Conclusions A new social-business eating pattern, characterized by high consumption of red and processed meat, alcohol, and sugar-sweetened beverages, and by frequent snacking and eating out as part of an overall unhealthy life-style, is associated with an increased prevalence, burden, and multisite presence of subclinical atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)805-814
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 23 Aug 2016


  • cardiovascular disease
  • dietary patterns
  • plaque
  • subclinical atherosclerosis


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