Research Papers

A Mediterranean Lifestyle is Associated with Lower Risk of Death


This study looked at the impact of the Mediterranean diet and all causes of death, as well as complimenting the popular diet with other health supportive behaviours such as rest and exercise. The researchers analyzed the dietary and lifestyle habits of over 100,000 individuals from the UK. The information was provided via a dietary and lifestyle questionnaire and the participants were aged between 40 and 75. The study showed that people who adhered to a mediterranean diet and lifestyle had a lower risk of all-cause mortality and cancer. The mediterranean diet and lifestyle within this study was classified as a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, good quality oils and low amounts of saturated fat, salt and sugar. The lifestyle habits that had the most positive outcomes when coinciding with the diet were adequate rest, increased physical activity, and socialization.

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Objective: To examine the association between the Mediterranean lifestyle and all-cause, cancer, and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality in a British population. Patients and methods: We studied 110,799 individuals 40 to 75 years of age from the UK Biobank cohort, free of CVD or cancer between 2009 and 2012 who were followed-up to 2021. The Mediterranean lifestyle was assessed at baseline through the Mediterranean Lifestyle (MEDLIFE) index, derived from the lifestyle questionnaire and diet assessments and comprising three blocks: (1) “Mediterranean food consumption,” (2) “Mediterranean dietary habits,” and (3) “physical activity, rest, social habits, and conviviality.” Death information was retrieved from death register records. Cox regression models were used to analyze the study associations. Results: During a median 9.4-year follow-up, 4247 total deaths, 2401 cancer deaths, and 731 CVD deaths were identified. Compared with the first quartile of the MEDLIFE index, increasing quartiles had HRs of 0.89 (95% CI, 0.81 to 0.97), 0.81 (95% CI, 0.74 to 0.89), and 0.71 (95% CI, 0.65 to 0.78) (P-trend<.001 for all-cause mortality). For cancer mortality, the quartiles had HRs of 0.90 (95% CI, 0.80 to 1.01), 0.83 (95% CI, 0.74 to 0.93), and 0.72 (95% CI, 0.64 to 0.82) (P-trend<.001). All MEDLIFE index blocks were independently associated with lower risk of all-cause and cancer death, and block 3 was associated with lower CVD mortality. Conclusion: Higher adherence to the Mediterranean lifestyle was associated with lower all-cause and cancer mortality in British middle-aged and older adults in a dose-response manner. Adopting a Mediterranean lifestyle adapted to the local characteristics of non-Mediterranean populations may be possible and part of a healthy lifestyle.


Article Publication Date: 8/8/2023
DOI: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2023.05.031

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