Successful Aging among Elders Living in the Mani Continental Region vs. Insular Areas of the Mediterranean: the MEDIS Study
Mariolis Anargiros1, Foscolou Alexandra2, Tyrovolas Stefanos2,3, Piscopo Suzanne4, Valacchi Giuseppe5, Tsakountakis Nikos6, Zeimbekis Akis7, Bountziouka Vassiliki2, Gotsis Efthimios2, Metallinos George2, Tyrovola Dimitra2, Tur Josep-Antoni8, Matalas Antonia-Leda2, Lionis Christos6, Polychronopoulos Evangelos2, Panagiotakos Demosthenes, for the MEDIS study group
1Health Center of Areopolis, General Hospital of Sparta, Areopolis, Greece 2Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Health Science and Education, Harokopio University, Athens, Greece 3Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Déu, Fundació Sant Joan de Déu, CIBERSAM, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain 4University of Malta, Nutrition, Family and Consumer Studies Office, Msida, Republic of Malta 5Department of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy 6Clinic of Social and Family Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece 7Health Center of Kalloni, General Hospital of Mitilini, Mitilini, Greece 8Research Group on Community Nutrition and Oxidative Stress, Universitat de les Illes Balears & CIBERobn, E-07122 Palma de Mallorca, Spain
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 of successful aging; a finding which could be attributed to differences in lifestyle among elders.
Mariolis Anargiros,Foscolou Alexandra,Tyrovolas Stefanos, et al. Successful Aging among Elders Living in the Mani Continental Region vs. Insular Areas of the Mediterranean: the MEDIS Study[J]. Aging and disease,
2016, 7(3): 285-294.
Table 1 Lifestyle, psychosocial and clinical characteristics of the MEDIS study participants.
Islanders vs. Mani continental residents
Age (per 1 year)
Men vs. women
Body Mass Index (kg/m2)
Physical Activity (yes vs. no)
Smoking habits (yes vs. no)
MedDietScore (per 1/55 unit)
Access to health care services (yes vs. no)
Table 2 Results from linear regression models that evaluated the association between area of living (islanders vs. Mani continental region) (independent variable) and successful aging index, SAI (outcome), among MEDIS study participants.
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