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

Journal article
Authors Gianluca Tognon
Elisabeth Rothenberg
Gabriele Eiben
Valter Sundh
Anna Winkvist
Lauren Lissner
Published in Age (Dordrecht, Netherlands)
Volume 33
Issue 3
Pages 439-50
ISSN 1574-4647
Publication year 2011
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Institute of Medicine, Department of Clinical Nutrition
Pages 439-50
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11357-010-9193-...
Keywords Aged, Diet, Mediterranean, Female, Forecasting, Humans, Longevity, Male, Sweden
Subject categories Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

Abstract

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.

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