Lifestyle determinants of healthy ageing in a Mediterranean population: The multinational MEDIS study

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To evaluate modifiable, lifestyle risk factors of cardiovascular disease (CVD) among older adults, across ageing, in the Mediterranean area.


During 2005–2017, 3131 individuals from 26 Mediterranean islands of 5 countries, ≥65 years of age, were voluntarily enrolled. Anthropometrical, clinical and socio-demographic characteristics, dietary habits, lifestyle parameters were measured through standard procedures. Analyses were performed by year and across consecutive age groups of the participants.


A decrease in the prevalence of current smoking (p < 0.001), engagement in physical activities (p = 0.001) and participation in social events (p = 0.001) for every year increase in age was found. Moderate alcohol drinking increased through ageing (p = 0.008), whereas adherence to Mediterranean diet remained stable, but adequate (p = 0.90). Trend analysis also revealed that a quadratic (U-shape) function better characterized the association between ageing and total cardiometabolic risk factors burden (p for trend <0.001).


The gaps in the understanding of factors affecting longevity and healthy ageing remain; public health authorities and stakeholders should focus on the lifestyle determinants of healthy ageing, that seems to be an effective mean for improving older peoples' health.

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