Aging and Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet: Relationship with Cardiometabolic Disorders and Polypharmacy.
J Nutr Health Aging. 2018 ;22(1):73-81. PMID: 29300425
OBJECTIVES: To investigate the association between adherence to the Mediterranean Diet (Med-Diet), cardiometabolic disorders and polypharmacy.
DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.
SETTING: Geriatrics outpatient clinic, Policlinico Umberto I, Sapienza University of Rome.
PARTICIPANTS: 508 patients (219 male, 289 female) aged 50 to 89 who were evaluated for cardiovascular and metabolic disorders.
METHODS AND MEASUREMENTS: Patients underwent a comprehensive medical assessment including medical history and the use of medications. Adherence to Med-Diet was assessed using the validated Med-Diet 14-item questionnaire; for the analysis, patients were divided in high (≥8) and medium-low (<8) adherence. Polypharmacy was defined as taking≥5 medications.
RESULTS: 476 patients completed the study. Mean age was 70.4 years; 58% female. Median Med-Diet score was 8 (interquartile range, 6-9). Patients with medium-low adherence had higher body mass index (p=0.029) and higher prevalence of arterial hypertension (p<0.001), previous coronary (p=0.002) and cerebrovascular events (p=0.011), diabetes, (p<0.001) and dyslipidemia (p=0.001) compared to those at high adherence. Med-Diet score decreased with the number of cardiometabolic disorders (p<0.001). The prevalence of polypharmacy was 39%. Consumption of olive oil (p=0.005), vegetables, (p<0.001), wine (p=0.017), legumes (p=0.028), fish (p=0.046) and nuts (p=0.045) were all inversely associated with the overall number of medications. In a multivariable regression model, medium-low adherence to Med-Diet was independently associated to polypharmacy (O.R.:1.859; 95% CI 1.142 to 3.025; p=0.013), after adjusting for possible confounding factors.
CONCLUSION: Med-Diet was inversely associated with cardiometabolic disorders and with polypharmacy, suggesting that improved Med-Diet adherence might potentially delay the onset of age-related health deterioration and reduce the need of multiple medications.