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Association between siesta (daytime sleep), dietary patterns and the presence of metabolic syndrome in elderly living in Mediterranean area (MEDIS study): The moderating effect of gender



Several lifestyle parameters including diet, physical activity and sleep were associated in isolation with the presence of Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) in adults, to date there is a paucity of studies which evaluated their combined role aging populations and especially with respect to gender. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to provide a global consideration of the lifestyle factors associated with MetS among elderly individuals.


Cross-sectional observational study.


21 Mediterranean islands and the rural Mani region (Peloponnesus) of Greece.


during 2005-2015, 2749 older (aged 65-100 years) from were voluntarily enrolled in the study.


Dietary habits, energy intake, physical activity status, sociodemographic characteristics, lifestyle parameters (sleeping and smoking habits) and clinical profile aspects were derived through standard procedures. The presence of MetS was defined using the definition provided by NCEP ATP III (revised) and cluster analysis was used to identify overall dietary habit patterns.


The overall prevalence of MetS in the study sample was 36.2%, but occurred more frequently in females (40.0% vs. 31.8%, respectively, p=0.03). Individuals with MetS were more likely to sleep during the day (89.4% vs. 76.8% respectively, p=0.039) and frequent ‘siesta’ was positively linked to the odds of MetS presence in females (Odds Ratio (OR) =3.43, 95% Confidence Intervals (CI): 1.08-10.9), but not for men (p=0.999). The lower carbohydrate (i.e., 45.2% of total daily energy, 120±16gr/day) dietary cluster was inversely associated with the odds for MetS presence, but only for men (OR=0.094, 95%CI: 0.010-0.883).


Lifestyle parameters including sleep and diet quality are strongly associated with the presence of MetS in elderly cohort, but different their level of influence appears to be different, depending on gender. Further research is needed to better consider the role of lifestyle characteristics in the management of MetS in clinical practice.

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Correspondence to Demosthenes B. Panagiotakos.

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Georgousopoulou, E.N., Naumovski, N., Mellor, D.D. et al. Association between siesta (daytime sleep), dietary patterns and the presence of metabolic syndrome in elderly living in Mediterranean area (MEDIS study): The moderating effect of gender. J Nutr Health Aging 21, 1118–1124 (2017).

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  • Metabolic syndrome
  • sleep
  • elderly
  • diet
  • lifestyle
  • siesta
  • mediterranean-type diet