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The Effect of a Mediterranean Diet on All-Cause Mortality in Elderly Individuals: A Systematic Review

8 May 2015

Abstract

Background: The concept of a Mediterranean diet decreasing mortality rates is one that is becoming more popular in current research today. However, the effect on mortality when this diet is initiated in an elderly population is largely unexplored. The purpose of this review is to look at whether current research suggests that a Mediterranean diet can impact all-cause mortality in this population.

Methods: Exhaustive search of available medical literature in Medline-Ovid, CINAHL, and Google Scholar using the keywords: diet/Mediterranean, mortality, and elderly/aging. GRADE was utilized in assigning the quality of evidence.

Results: Three studies met eligibility criteria. The results showed that a variation of the Mediterranean diet can inversely impact mortality if started at early advanced years of age. The main components of the diet must be included. Moderate alcohol consumption has no impact on the effects of this diet. Dairy and saturated fat intake could decrease longevity if not eaten in moderation.

Conclusion: Studies show benefits to starting a Mediterranean diet at early advanced age in regards to mortality. However, there are many factors associated with this recommendation that need to be further evaluated.


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