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Adherence To A Mediterranean Diet Is Associated With Lower Incidence Of Frailty: A Longitudinal Cohort Study

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Nicola Veronese, Brendon Stubbs, Marianna Noale, Marco Solmi, Renè Rizzoli, Alberto Vaona, Jacopo Demurtas, Gaetano Crepaldi, Stefania Maggi

Original languageEnglish
JournalCLINICAL NUTRITION
Early online date4 Sep 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Sep 2017

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Abstract

Backround & aims: There is a paucity of data investigating the relationship between the mediterranean and frailty, with no data among North American people. We aimed to investigate if adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower incidence of frailty in a large cohort of North American people. 
Methods: This study included subjects at higher risk or having knee osteoarthritis. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet was evaluated using a validated Mediterranean diet score (aMED) as proposed by Panagiotakos and classified into five categories. Frailty was defined using the Study of Osteoporotic Fracture (SOF) index as the presence of ≥2 out of: (i) weight loss >5% between baseline and the subsequent follow-up visit; (ii) inability to do five chair stands; (iii) low energy level. 
Results: During the 8 years follow-up, of the 4,421 participants initially included (mean age: 61.2 years, % of females=58.0), the incidence of frailty was approximately half in those with a higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet (8 for 1,000 person years) vs. those with a lower adherence (15 for 1,000 persons-years). After adjusting for 10 potential confounders (age, sex, race, body mass index, education, smoking habits, yearly income, physical activity level, Charlson co-morbidity index and daily energy intake), participants with the highest aMED scores were found to have a significant reduction in incident frailty (hazard ratio=0.71; 95% CIs: 0.50-0.99, p=0.047) with respect to those in a lower category. Regarding individual components of the Mediterranean diet, low consumption of poultry was found to be associated with higher risk of frailty. 
Conclusions: A higher adherence to a Mediterranean diet was associated with a lower incidence of frailty over an 8-year follow-up period, even after adjusting for potential confounders.

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