Mediterranean diet and functional indicators among older adults in non-mediterranean and mediterranean countries

M. Zbeida, R. Goldsmith, T. Shimony, H. Yardi, L. Naggan, Danit Rivka Shahar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background/Objectives: The Mediterranean diet (MEDDIET) has been shown to be related to longevity. This study aimed to determine the association between adherence to MEDDIET and physical function of older adults in the United-States and Israel. Methods: Data from the US National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHANES) 1999-2002 and from the Israeli National Health and Nutrition Survey (MABAT ZAHAV) 2005-2006 were used. Participants with nutritional and functional data were included. Adherence to the MEDDIET was assessed by a 9-unit score (MDS). Results: Among 2791 NHANES and 1786 MABAT ZAHAV participants, mean age=71.2y and 74.9y, 20% and 27% had low MDS (0-2), 66% and 62% had a medium score (3-5), and 14% and 11% had a high score (6-9), respectively. Higher MDS was associated with higher education and better lifestyle behaviors. Cognitive and physical functions were significantly better in NHANES and MABAT ZAHAV among the highest MDS. In NHANES, MDS (high vs. low) was associated with faster walking speed after adjusting for confounders in a logistic regression model [Odds Ratio (OR)=0.71, P=0.034, Cl 95% 0.511-0.974]. When cognitive function was added, the association was attenuated (OR=0.75, P=0.093, Cl 95% 0.540-1.049). In MABAT ZAHAV, in a logistic regression model adjusted among other to cognitive function, MDS (high vs. low) was associated with fewer disabilities (OR=0.51, P=0.029, Cl 95% 0.276-0.934). Conclusions: Adherence to the MEDDIET is associated with better health characteristics and better functioning. Further cohort and intervention studies may shed light on temporal and causal relationships between MEDDIET and these parameters.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)411-418
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutrition, Health and Aging
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Disability
  • Elderly
  • Function
  • Mediterranean diet
  • Walking speed

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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