Adhering to a Mediterranean diet may improve longevity, however there is little data available.
In this study, researchers from Greece and the United States performed a population-based, prospective investigation
|There was an inverse association between greater diet adherence and death due to coronary heart disease.|
|New England Journal of Medicine|
They evaluated 22,043 adults in Greece using an extensive, validated, food-frequency questionnaire.
The team assessed subjects' adherence to the traditional Mediterranean diet using a 10-point Mediterranean-diet scale. The scores ranged from 0 to 9, and a higher score indicated greater adherence to the traditional diet.
The researchers used proportional-hazards regression to assess the relation between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and total mortality. They also assessed mortality due to coronary heart disease, and to cancer.
The team adjusted their analysis for age, sex, body-mass index, physical-activity level, and other possible confounders.
Subjects were followed-up for a median of 44 months. During this follow-up period the team recorded 275 deaths.
The research team found that greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduction in total mortality.
Furthermore, the team detected an inverse association between greater adherence to the diet and both death due to coronary heart disease (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.67), and death due to cancer (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.76).
However, the team found few significant associations between individual food groups within the diet and total mortality.
Dr Antonia Trichopoulou's team concluded, "Greater adherence to the traditional Mediterranean diet is associated with a significant reduction in total mortality".