Mediterranean Diet, Food Consumption and Risk of Late-Life Depression: The Mugello Study
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To investigate eating habits and adherence to Mediterranean Diet (MD) in relation to the risk of depression in a cohort of nonagenarians enrolled within the Mugello Study, an epidemiological study aimed at investigating both clinically relevant geriatric items and various health issues, including those related to nutritional status.
Homes and nursing homes in the Mugello area, Florence, Italy.
Subjects aged 90-99 years [N=388 (271F; 117M) mean age: 92.7±3.1].
All subjects were evaluated through questionnaires and instrumental examinations. Adherence to MD was assessed through the Mediterranean Diet Score. A shorter version of the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) was used to detect the possible presence of depressive symptoms. In addition, cognitive and functional status was assessed using the Mini-Mental State Examination, the Clock Drawing Test, as well as the Basic and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living test.
Depressed subjects (DS) (GDS score≥5, 43.8%) were older, females and widows, than non-depressed subjects (NDS). DS reported a slightly but not statistically significant lower MD score than NDS (33.9±3.9 vs. 34.6±3.3, p=0.149). Subjects who reported to consume a greater amount of olive oil and fruit were associated with a lower risk of depression (OR=0.35, 95%CI=0.20–0.59, p<0.001 and OR=0.46, 95%CI=0.26–0.84, p=0.011, respectively) after adjustment for many possible confounders. Similar results were obtained for women, while no statistically significant differences emerged for men.
Our results support the hypothesis that a diet rich in olive oil and fruit, characteristics of MD, may protect against the development of depressive symptoms in older age.
Key wordsNutrition food olive oil fruits longevity
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