Does the Mediterranean diet predict longevity in the elderly? A Swedish perspective

Public Health Epidemiology Unit, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Gothenburg, Sahlgrenska Academy, Göteborg, Sweden.
Age (Impact Factor: 3.45). 11/2010; 33(3):439-50. DOI: 10.1007/s11357-010-9193-1
Source: PubMed


Dietary pattern analysis represents a useful improvement in the investigation of diet and health relationships. Particularly, the Mediterranean diet pattern has been associated with reduced mortality risk in several studies involving both younger and elderly population groups. In this research, relationships between dietary macronutrient composition, as well as the Mediterranean diet, and total mortality were assessed in 1,037 seventy-year-old subjects (540 females) information. Diet macronutrient composition was not associated with mortality, while a refined version of the modified Mediterranean diet index showed a significant inverse association (HR=0.93, 95% CI: 0.89; 0.98). As expected, inactive subjects, smokers and those with a higher waist circumference had a higher mortality, while a reduced risk characterized married and more educated people. Sensitivity analyses (which confirmed our results) consisted of: exclusion of one food group at a time in the Mediterranean diet index, exclusion of early deaths, censoring at fixed follow-up time, adjusting for activities of daily living and main cardiovascular risk factors including weight/waist circumference changes at follow up. In conclusion, we can reasonably state that a higher adherence to a Mediterranean diet pattern, especially by consuming wholegrain cereals, foods rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, and a limited amount of alcohol, predicts increased longevity in the elderly.

Download full-text


Available from: Valter Sundh
  • Source
    • "In fact, participants in the upper baseline quartiles of MDP followed a diet rich in plant-based foods and poor in animal foods, and had the lowest risk of mortality. Third, the available evidence about olive oil, suggests that it plays a role in the prevention of coronary heart disease, and cancer, and may influence survival [1] [2] [21] [22] [25]. Besides, olive oil and particularly EVOO improves the lipid profile and has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties [27] [28]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background & aims There is little evidence on post hoc-derived dietary patterns (DP) and all-cause mortality in Southern-European populations. Furthermore, the potential effect modification of a DP by a nutritional intervention has not been sufficiently assessed. We assessed the association between a posteriori defined baseline major DP and total mortality or cardiovascular events within each of the three arms of a large primary prevention trial (PREDIMED) where participants were randomized to two active interventions with Mediterranean-type diets or to a control group (allocated to a low-fat diet). Design We followed-up 7216 participants for a median of 4.3 years. A validated 137-item food-frequency questionnaire was administered. Baseline DP were ascertained through factor analysis based on 34 predefined groups. Cox regression models were used to estimate multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HR) for cardiovascular disease (CVD) or mortality across quartiles of DP within each of the three arms of the trial. Results We identified two major baseline DP: the first DP was rich in red and processed meats, alcohol, refined grains and whole dairy products and was labeled Western dietary pattern (WDP). The second DP corresponded to a “Mediterranean-type” dietary pattern (MDP). During follow-up, 328 participants died. After controlling for potential confounders, higher baseline adherence to the MDP was associated with lower risk of CVD (adjusted HR for fourth vs. first quartile: 0.52; 95% CI (Confidence Interval): 0.36, 0.74; p-trend <0.001) and all-cause mortality (adjusted HR: 0.53; 95% CI: 0.38, 0.75; p-trend <0.001), regardless of the allocated arm of the trial. An increasing mortality rate was found across increasing quartiles of the WDP in the control group (allocated to a low-fat diet), though the linear trend was not statistically significant (p = 0.098). Conclusions Higher adherence to an empirically-derived MDP at baseline was associated with a reduced risk of CVD and mortality in the PREDIMED trial regardless of the allocated arm. The WDP was not associated with higher risk of mortality or cardiovascular events.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Clinical nutrition (Edinburgh, Scotland)
    • "Greater adherence to a Mediterranean-like dietary pattern is associated with a significant improvement in health status [1]. It may reduce the metabolic syndrome risk [2], major chronic disease morbidity [3] [4] and mortality [5] as well as total mortality [6] [7]. An inverse association between this pattern and overweight, particularly in childhood, could have short-and long-term health implications, but only few papers describe its relationship with childrens' weight status , BMI, waist circumference or waist-to-height ratio [8e11]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A Mediterranean-like dietary pattern has been shown to be inversely associated with many diseases, but its role in early obesity prevention is not clear. We aimed to determine if this pattern is common among European children and whether it is associated with overweight and obesity. The IDEFICS study recruited 16,220 children aged 2-9 years from study centers in eight European countries. Weight, height, waist circumference, and skinfolds were measured at baseline and in 9114 children of the original cohort after two years. Diet was evaluated by a parental questionnaire reporting children's usual consumption of 43 food items. Adherence to a Mediterranean-like diet was calculated by a food frequency-based Mediterranean Diet Score (fMDS). The highest fMDS levels were observed in Sweden, the lowest in Cyprus. High scores were inversely associated with overweight including obesity (OR = 0.85, 95% CI: 0.77; 0.94) and percent fat mass (β = -0.22, 95% CI: -0.43; -0.01) independently of age, sex, socioeconomic status, study center and physical activity. High fMDS at baseline protected against increases in BMI (OR = 0.87, 95% CI: 0.78; 0.98), waist circumference (OR = 0.87, 95% CI: 0.77; 0.98) and waist-to-height ratio (OR = 0.88, 95% CI: 0.78; 0.99) with a similar trend observed for percent fat mass (p = 0.06). Although a Mediterranean dietary pattern is inversely associated with childhood obesity, it is not common in children living in the Mediterranean region and should therefore be advocated as part of EU obesity prevention strategies.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2013 · Nutrition, metabolism, and cardiovascular diseases: NMCD
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The mouse has become the favorite mammalian model. Among the many reasons for this privileged position of mice is their genetic proximity to humans, the possibilities of genetically manipulating their genomes and the availability of many tools, mutants and inbred strains. Also in the field of aging, mice have become very robust and reliable research tools. Since laboratory mice have a life expectancy of only a few years, genetic approaches and other strategies for intervening in aging can be tested by examining their effects on life span and aging parameters during the relatively short period of, for example, a PhD project. Moreover, experiments on mice with an extended life span as well as on mice demonstrating signs of (segmental) premature aging, together with genetic mapping strategies, have provided novel insights into the fundamental processes that drive aging. Finally, the results of studies on caloric restriction and pharmacological anti-aging treatments in mice have a high degree of relevance to humans. In this paper, we review a number of recent genetic mapping studies that have yielded novel insights into the aging process. We discuss the value of the mouse as a model for testing interventions in aging, such as caloric restriction, and we critically discuss mouse strains with an extended or a shortened life span as models of aging.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2012 · Ageing research reviews
Show more