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

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Background:To evaluate modifiable, lifestyle risk factors of cardiovascular disease (CVD) among older adults, across ageing, in the Mediterranean area.Methods: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.Results: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).Conclusions: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.HighlightsLife expectancy has increased among Mediterranean people.Prevalence of smoking, physical activity and socializing decreased with ageing.Prevalence of obesity and hypercholesterolemia decreased with ageing.The relation between age and total cardiometabolic score was inverse.Healthy ageing strategies should be promoted.

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