Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Mediterranean diet and overall mortality differences in the European Union

  • Dimitrios Trichopoulos (a1) (a2) and Pagona Lagiou (a1) (a2)

Abstract

Objective:

To assess whether the Mediterranean diet contributes to overall mortality differences and trends between Mediterranean and non-Mediterranean European Union (EU) countries.

Design:

Routinely recorded adjusted overall mortality and food availability data in Mediterranean and non-Mediterranean EU countries. A Mediterranean diet score designed a priori was used as instrument.

Setting:

Fifteen EU countries in the 1960s and the 1990s.

Subjects:

The general population in the 15 EU countries.

Results:

The difference between Mediterranean and non-Mediterranean EU countries in a 7-point Mediterranean diet score was reduced from 2.9 in the 1960s to 1.6 in the 1990s. This reduction may underlie the reduction in the difference in general mortality between these countries, from about 100 deaths per 100 000 person-years in the early 1970s to about 50 deaths per 100 000 person-years in the 1990s.

Conclusions:

The decline in overall mortality in the 15 EU countries over the last 25 years is probably unrelated to diet. However, the gradual loss of the survival advantage of Mediterranean EU citizens, compared with other EU citizens, may be linked to the gradual abandonment by the former of their dietary traditions.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Mediterranean diet and overall mortality differences in the European Union
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Mediterranean diet and overall mortality differences in the European Union
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Mediterranean diet and overall mortality differences in the European Union
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email dtrichop@hsph.harvard.edu

References

Hide All
1World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF)/American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR). Food, Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective. Washington, DC: WCRF/AICR, 1997.
2Willett, W. Nutritional Epidemiology 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998; 528.
3Willett, WC, Trichopoulos, D. Summary of the evidence: nutrition and cancer. Cancer Causes & Control 1996; 7: 178–80.
4Tavani, A, La Vecchia, C. Fruit and vegetable consumption and cancer risk in a Mediterranean population. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1995; 61(Suppl. 6): 1374S–7S.
5World Health Organization (WHO), Regional Office for Europe. Health for All Database. Copenhagen: WHO, 1999.
6Willett, WC. Diet and health: what should we eat? Science 1994; 264: 532–7.
7Trichopoulos, D, Lagiou, P. Dietary patterns and mortality. British Journal of Nutrition 2001; 85: 133–4.
8Willett, WC, Sacks, F, Trichopoulou, A, Drescher, G, Ferro-Luzzi, A, Helsing, E, et al. Mediterranean diet pyramid: a cultural model for healthy eating. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1995; 61(Suppl. 6): 1402S–6S.
9Trichopoulos, D, Lagiou, P, Trichopoulou, A. Evidence-based nutrition. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2000; 9(Suppl.): S4–9.
10Trichopoulou, A, Kouris-Blazos, A, Wahlqvist, M, Gnardellis, C, Lagiou, P, Polychronopoulos, E, et al. Diet and overall survival in elderly people. British Medical Journal 1995; 311: 1457–60.
11Osler, M, Schroll, M. Diet and mortality in a cohort of elderly people in a north European community. International Journal of Epidemiology 1997; 26: 155–9.
12Kouris-Blazos, A, Gnardellis, C, Wahlqvist, ML, Trichopoulos, D, Lukito, WTrichopoulou, A. Are the advantages of the Mediterranean diet transferable to other populations? A cohort study in Melbourne, Australia. British Journal of Nutrition 1999; 82: 5761.
13Lasheras, C, Fernandez, S, Patterson, AM. Mediterranean diet and age with respect to overall survival in institutionalized, nonsmoking elderly people. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2000; 71: 987–92.
14Trichopoulou, A, Lagiou, P, Kuper, H, Trichopoulos, D. Cancer and Mediterranean dietary traditions. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention 2000; 9: 869–73.
15Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). FAO Statistical Databases. Food Balance Sheets. Rome: FAO, 2001.
16Albert, CM, Campos, H, Stampfer, MJ, Ridker, PM, Manson, JE, Willett, WC, et al. Blood levels of long-chain n -3 fatty acids and the risk of sudden death. New England Journal of Medicine 2002; 346: 1113–8.
17Serra-Majem, L, La Vecchia, C, Ribas-Barba, LPrieto-Ramos, F, Lucchini, F, Ramon, JM, et al. Changes in diet and mortality from selected cancers in southern Mediterranean countries, 1960–1989. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1993; 47(Suppl. 1): S25–34.
18Serra-Majem, L, Ribas, L, Tresserras, R, Ngo, J, Salleras, L. How could changes in diet explain changes in coronary heart disease mortality in Spain? The Spanish paradox. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1995; 61(Suppl. 6): 1351S–9S.

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed