Lifestyle determinants of healthy ageing in a Mediterranean population: The multinational MEDIS study Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND:To evaluate modifiable, lifestyle risk factors of cardiovascular disease (CVD) among older adults, across ageing, in the Mediterranean area. METHODS:During 2005-2017, 3131 individuals from 26 Mediterranean islands of 5 countries, ≥65 years of age, were voluntarily enrolled. Anthropometrical, clinical and socio-demographic characteristics, dietary habits, lifestyle parameters were measured through standard procedures. Analyses were performed by year and across consecutive age groups of the participants. RESULTS:A decrease in the prevalence of current smoking (p < 0.001), engagement in physical activities (p = 0.001) and participation in social events (p = 0.001) for every year increase in age was found. Moderate alcohol drinking increased through ageing (p = 0.008), whereas adherence to Mediterranean diet remained stable, but adequate (p = 0.90). Trend analysis also revealed that a quadratic (U-shape) function better characterized the association between ageing and total cardiometabolic risk factors burden (p for trend <0.001). CONCLUSIONS:The gaps in the understanding of factors affecting longevity and healthy ageing remain; public health authorities and stakeholders should focus on the lifestyle determinants of healthy ageing, that seems to be an effective mean for improving older peoples' health.


  • Foscolou, Alexandra
  • Magriplis, Emmanuella
  • Tyrovolas, Stefanos
  • Soulis, George
  • Bountziouka, Vassiliki
  • Mariolis, Anargiros
  • Piscopo, Suzanne
  • Valacchi, Giuseppe
  • Anastasiou, Foteini
  • Gotsis, Efthimios
  • Metallinos, George
  • Tyrovola, Dimitra
  • Polystipioti, Anna
  • Polychronopoulos, Evangelos
  • Matalas, Antonia-Leda
  • Lionis, Christos
  • Zeimbekis, Akis
  • Tur, Josep-Antoni
  • Sidossis, Labros S
  • Panagiotakos, Demosthenes

publication date

  • 2018