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Title: Successful aging among elders living in the Mani continental region vs. insular areas of the Mediterranean : the MEDIS study
Authors: Mariolis, Anargiros
Foscolou, Alexandra
Tyrovolas, Stefanos
Piscopo, Suzanne
Valacchi, Giuseppe
Tsakountakis, Nikos
Zeimbekis, Akis
Bountziouka, Vassiliki
Gotsis, Efthimios
Metallinos, George
Tyrovola, Dimitra
Tur, Josep-Antoni
Matalas, Antonia-Leda
Lionis, Christos
Polychronopoulos, Evangelos
Panagiotakos, Demosthenes
Keywords: Longevity
Older people
Aging -- Social aspects
Cardiovascular system -- Diseases
Mani Peninsula (Greece) -- Social conditions
Islands of the Mediterranean -- Social life and customs
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Buck Institute for Age Research
Citation: Mariolis, A., Foscolou, A., Tyrovolas, S., Piscopo, S., Valacchi, G., Tsakountakis, N., ... & Tyrovola, D. (2016). Successful aging among elders living in the Mani continental region vs. insular areas of the Mediterranean: the MEDIS study. Aging and Disease, 7(3), 285-294.
Abstract: To evaluate the role of geography i.e., continental vs. insular Mediterranean, on successful aging among older inhabitants. During 2005-2014, 2693 elderly (aged 65 to 100 years) individuals from 21 Mediterranean islands in Greece, Italy and Spain as well as Cyprus, Malta, and the rural region of Mani (southeast continental region of Greece keeping old-time traditions), were voluntarily recruited. Successful aging was evaluated using a validated index composed of 10 health-related socio-lifestyle and clinical characteristics. After accounting for age, sex, body mass index (BMI), physical activity, smoking habits, MedDietScore and access to health care services, the older inhabitants of islands were found to have a higher level of the successful aging index when compared to their counterparts in Mani (Beta=0.174, p<0.001); moreover, islanders exhibited slightly more years of “good” health (68.7 vs 68.4 years for Mani residents (p=0.99)). However, compared to the residents of Mani, islanders had 1.64 times higher odds (95%CI, 1.08-2.48) for having hypertension, 2.4-times higher odds (95%CI, 1.34-4.21) for having diabetes and 1.52 times higher odds (95%CI, 0.97–2.38) for having hypercholesterolemia. Engaging in physical activities and healthy dietary habits were the major determinants of healthy aging, among islanders as compared to their counterparts of continental Mani region. Elder residents of the continental Mani area enjoyed a better health status, whereas elder islanders had a higher level.
Description: The study has been funded by the Hellenic Heart Foundation and the Graduate program of the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Harokopio University in Athens, Greece. Stefano Tyrovolas’ work was funded through a scholarship from the Foundation for Education and European Culture (IPEP). Josep A. Tur was funded by grants PI11/01791, CIBERobn CB12/03/30038, and CAIB/EU 35/2001.
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