July 15, 2024

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Harvard: Mediterranean lifestyle can reduce the risk of death

Harvard: Mediterranean lifestyle can reduce the risk of death



 

Harvard: Mediterranean lifestyle can reduce the risk of death.

According to a recent study conducted by the Autonomous University of Madrid and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, people who adopt a Mediterranean lifestyle, which is characterized by a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, responsible eating habits, minimizing the intake of added salt and sugar, and habits that encourage adequate rest, physical exercise and social interaction, have a lower risk of death from all causes and cancer.

In addition, people who adopt this lifestyle that focuses on relaxation, physical exercise and socializing with friends also have a lower risk of death from cardiovascular diseases.

 

Harvard: Mediterranean lifestyle can reduce the risk of death

 

 

The study was recently published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings. It is one of the few studies that explore the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet outside its native region and assess the overall benefits of adopting a Mediterranean lifestyle for health.

Although many studies have confirmed the benefits of the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle for health, there are few studies on the Mediterranean diet outside its region of origin.

“This study shows that non-Mediterranean populations can benefit from adopting a Mediterranean diet using local products and adopting a holistic Mediterranean lifestyle in their own cultural context,” said Mercedes Sotos-Prieto, lead author, researcher at Ramón y Cajal at the Autonomous University of Madrid and adjunct assistant professor of environmental health at Harvard Chan School. “We see the portability of this lifestyle and its positive impact on health.”

The researchers used the Mediterranean Lifestyle (MEDLIFE) index to analyze the lifestyle habits of 110799 members of the UK Biobank cohort, which is a study based on the population of England, Wales and Scotland, derived from lifestyle questionnaires and dietary assessments.

Participants were aged between 40 and 75 years old and provided information on their lifestyle according to three categories measured by the index: “Mediterranean food intake” (the intake of foods such as fruits and whole grains in the Mediterranean diet), “Mediterranean dietary habits” (the habits and practices around meals, including limiting salt and drinking healthy beverages) and “physical activity, rest, social habits and gatherings” (lifestyle habits, including regular napping, exercising and spending time with friends). Each item in these three categories was then scored, with higher scores indicating a higher degree of adherence to the Mediterranean lifestyle.

The researchers followed up on the participants’ health status nine years later. Among the study population, 4247 people died from various causes, 2401 people died from cancer and 731 people died from cardiovascular diseases. By analyzing these results and the MEDLIFE scores, the researchers found an inverse relationship between adherence to the Mediterranean lifestyle and mortality risk.

Compared with participants with lower MEDLIFE scores, participants with higher MEDLIFE scores had a 29% lower risk of death from all causes, a 28% lower risk of death from cancer. Adherence to each category of MEDLIFE was associated with lower risks of death from all causes and cancer. Among them, the category “physical activity, rest, social habits and gatherings” was most closely related to these risk reductions, as well as to lower risk of death from cardiovascular diseases.

The authors acknowledge some limitations of the study, including the generalizability of the results in other settings. Since the study excluded women who were currently or recently using hormonal contraceptives, as well as women who had more than one unprotected sex before taking emergency contraceptive pills, it is not yet clear whether piroxicam-levonorgestrel combination therapy is equally effective when applied to women in these situations.

Dr. Erica Cahill from Stanford University School of Medicine, who was not involved in this study, wrote in a linked comment: “Overall, this study suggests that anyone taking levonorgestrel 1-5 mg emergency contraceptive pills should consider taking 40 mg piroxicam orally as well, as it can increase efficacy with minimal side effects. These conclusions may not apply to all patients, as this study was limited by a specific population, mostly Asian and lighter weight.”

 

 

 

 

Harvard: Mediterranean lifestyle can reduce the risk of death

(source:internet, reference only)


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