The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of the Mediterranean diet on the likelihood of having a non-fatal cardiovascular outcome, taking into account anxiety and depression status.This was a case-control study with individual matching by age and sex. During 2009-2010, 1000 participants were enrolled; 250 were consecutive patients with a first acute coronary syndrome (ACS), 250 were consecutive patients with a first ischemic stroke, and 500 were population-based control subjects, one-for-one matched to the patients by age and sex. Among other characteristics, adherence to the Mediterranean diet was assessed by the MedDietScore, anxiety was assessed with the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory form Y-2, while depressive symptomatology was evaluated by the Zung Depression Rating Scale.Higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with a lower likelihood of ACS and ischemic stroke, even after adjusting for anxiety or depression (ACS: OR=0.92, 95%CI 0.87-0.98 and 0.93, 0.88-0.98, respectively; ischemic stroke: 0.91, 0.84-0.98 and 0.90, 0.83-0.97, respectively). For both ACS and stroke patients, anxiety and depression were associated with a higher likelihood of ACS and stroke. When stratifying for depression or anxiety status, the Mediterranean diet remained a significantly protective factor only for people with low levels of depression and anxiety for ACS, and only for people with low levels of anxiety, as far as stroke was concerned.Anxiety and depression seem to play a mediating role in the protective relationship between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and the likelihood of developing cardiovascular events.