The journal of nutrition, health & aging

, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 569–574 | Cite as

Mediterranean Diet, Food Consumption and Risk of Late-Life Depression: The Mugello Study

  • Giuditta PagliaiEmail author
  • F. Sofi
  • F. Vannetti
  • S. Caiani
  • G. Pasquini
  • R. Molino Lova
  • F. Cecchi
  • S. Sorbi
  • C. Macchi
  • Mugello Study Working Group



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.


Cross-sectional study.


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 words

Nutrition food olive oil fruits longevity 


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Copyright information

© Serdi and Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giuditta Pagliai
    • 1
    Email author
  • F. Sofi
    • 1
    • 2
  • F. Vannetti
    • 2
  • S. Caiani
    • 2
  • G. Pasquini
    • 2
  • R. Molino Lova
    • 2
  • F. Cecchi
    • 2
  • S. Sorbi
    • 2
  • C. Macchi
    • 2
  • Mugello Study Working Group
  1. 1.Department of Experimental and Clinical MedicineUniversity of Florence, ItalyFlorenceItaly
  2. 2.Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation Florence, Onlus IRCCSFlorenceItaly

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