Dietary meat fats and burden of cardiovascular disease risk factors, in the elderly: a report from the MEDIS study

Lipids Health Dis. 2010 Mar 18;9:30. doi: 10.1186/1476-511X-9-30.


Dietary fats have long been associated with human health, and especially cardiovascular disease (CVD). Some observational studies have shown that reduction in dietary fats, and particularly cholesterol is associated with lower cardiovascular risk; however, other prospective studies or randomized controlled trials of dietary fat reduction or modification have shown varying results on CVD morbidity and mortality. In this work we evaluated the relationships between dietary fats and a cluster of CVD risk factors (i.e., diabetes, obesity, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension), among elderly individuals without known CVD. In particular, dietary and clinical data from 1486 elderly (aged 65 to 100 years) men and women living in Cyprus, Mitilini, Samothraki, Cephalonia, Crete, Lemnos, Syros, Naxos, Corfu and Zakynthos islands, and participated in the MEDIS study, were analysed. Data analysis revealed that 18.5% of males and 33.3% of females had three or four cardiovascular disease risk factors; the major source of fat was olive oil (mean intake for men and women 50.0 +/- 19.3 g/day and 46.0 +/- 16.8 g/day, p < 0.001). In addition it was observed that a 5% increase in energy adjusted fat intake from meat was associated with a 21% increase in the likelihood of having one additional CVD risk factor (95%CI 6%-39%); no significant associations were observed regarding the other types of fat consumed by the elderly participants. These findings may state a hypothesis that the consumption of fat only from meat or its products seems to increase the burden of CVD risk factors among CVD-free, elderly people.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dietary Fats / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meat*
  • Olive Oil
  • Plant Oils
  • Prospective Studies
  • Random Allocation
  • Risk
  • Risk Factors
  • Trans Fatty Acids / chemistry


  • Dietary Fats
  • Olive Oil
  • Plant Oils
  • Trans Fatty Acids
  • Cholesterol