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Nutr Clin Pract. 2011 Oct;26(5):598-606. doi: 10.1177/0884533611416821.

Mediterranean diet and metabolic syndrome in an urban population: the Athens Study.

Author information

1
4th Department of Internal Medicine and Unit of Vascular Medicine, Evangelismos State General Hospital, Athens, Greece.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Previous studies demonstrated the beneficial impact of the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) on metabolic syndrome (MetS). The aim of this study was to retrospectively investigate the association between MedDiet and MetS in a representative sample of the Athenian population in the early 1980s, when MetS had not been established as an entity yet.

METHODS:

In a cross-sectional epidemiologic survey of cardiovascular disease (CVD), 2,074 randomly selected adults were examined: 900 men and 1,174 women (age, 46.9 ± 14.9 years). MetS was defined according to criteria of the National Cholesterol Education Program-Adult Treatment Panel III. A validated questionnaire concerning nutrition habits was administered, and MedDiet was assessed according to guidelines of the Division of Nutrition/Epidemiology, Athens University Medical School.

RESULTS:

Overall, 1,023 participants (49.3%) followed MedDiet (47.3% men, 52.0% women, P = .033) with similar rates across age groups (P = .337). MetS was diagnosed in 24.0% of those following MedDiet, compared with 27.9% of those not following it (P = .041). Participants with CVD or diabetes mellitus were less likely to follow MedDiet (43% vs 50%, P = .009). Multivariate analysis revealed that MedDiet is associated with a 20% reduction in MetS (odds ratio = 0.80, 95% confidence interval = 0.65-0.98), after adjustment for age, gender, smoking, light physical activity, serum levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and γ-glutamyl transferase, diabetes mellitus, CVD, family history of hypertension, and/or hyperlipidemia.

CONCLUSIONS:

Results indicate that adherence to MedDiet may attenuate the prevalence of MetS and, consequently, the increasing burden of diabetes mellitus and CVD, especially in urban populations.

PMID:
21947643
DOI:
10.1177/0884533611416821
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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