Adopting a Mediterranean diet (MD) may be beneficial for older adults, suggests new research published in the British Journal of Nutrition.
While the MD is associated with prolonged survival in a general population, less is known about the potential health benefits in relation to mortality.
As part of a new study, researchers examined this relationship in a sample of more than 5,200 people aged 65 years and over participating in the Moli-sani study of men and women from the general population of a Southern Italian region and followed-up for eight years. Adherence to the MD was appraised using the Mediterranean diet score (MDS; range 0-9).
The authors found the highest category of adherence to the MD was associated with a 25 per cent lower risk of mortality compared with the lowest category. A meta-analysis of seven prospective studies, including the Moli-sani study, found a one-point increment in MDS was associated with 5 per cent lower risk of all-cause mortality.
The authors said the findings strongly support the appropriateness for older persons to preserve/adopt a Mediterranean-type diet in order to increase their prospects for longevity.