Can Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet Determine HS Severity?

Mediterranean diet

Adherence to the Mediterranean diet and phase angle (PhA), a marker of cell membrane integrity, could be used to identify the clinical hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) severity, according to the findings of a recent study. 

The study included 41 treatment-naïve participants with HS and 41 controls. All participants completed 7-day food records and the PREvención con DIeta MEDiterránea (PREDIMED) questionnaire, which were used to assess dietary patterns and adherence to the Mediterranean diet. Body composition was assessed using a bioelectrical impedance analysis phase-sensitive system and clinical severity was measured using the HS Sartorius score.

Compared with participants without HS, those with HS had lower adherence to the Mediterranean diet and worse body composition, specifically lower PhA, despite similar energy intake.



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Analyses showed that a value of PhA of 5.7 or greater and a PREDIMED score of 5 or higher identified participants with the highest clinical severity of HS, the researchers noted. Negative correlations between HS Sartorius score, PhA, PREDIMED score, and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids were maintained after the researchers adjusted for sex, age, body mass index, and total energy intake. In addition, the researchers found that PhA and PREDIMED scores were major determinants of HS Sartorius scores and explained 82% and 30.4%, respectively, of its variability.

“Novel associations were demonstrated between PhA and the degree of adherence to the Mediterranean diet with the HS severity,” the researchers concluded. “Specific cut-off values for the PhA and the degree of adherence to the Mediterranean diet could be included as an auxiliary tool in the complex dermatological evaluation of the clinical severity in patients with HS, contributing to identify those patients who could get additional benefit from careful dietary interventions.”


Barrea L, Fabbrocini G, Annunziata G, et al. Role of nutrition and adherence to the Mediterranean diet in the multidisciplinary approach of hidradenitis suppurativa: Evaluation of nutritional status and its association with severity of disease. Nutrients. 2019;11(1): 57. doi:10.3390/nu11010057


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