Successful aging among elders living in the Mani continental region vs. insular areas of the Mediterranean: the MEDIS study

Full Title: Successful aging among elders living in the Mani continental region vs. insular areas of the Mediterranean: the MEDIS study

Journal: Aging and disease

Year of Publication: 2016

PHHI Author(s): Giuseppe Valacchi
Publication Author(s): Anargiros Mariolis, Alexandra Foscolou, Stefanos Tyrovolas, Suzanne Piscopo, Giuseppe Valacchi, Nikos Tsakountakis, Akis Zeimbekis, Vassiliki Bountziouka, Efthimios Gotsis, George Metallinos, Dimitra Tyrovola, Josep-Antoni Tur, Antonia-Leda Matalas, Christos Lionis, Evangelos Polychronopoulos, Demosthenes Panagiotakos, MEDIS study group

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 of successful aging; a finding which could be attributed to differences in lifestyle among elders.

Link to Article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4898925/