Associations of energy intake and type 2 diabetes with hypertryglyceridemia in older adults living in the Mediterranean islands: the MEDIS study

J Nutr Elder. 2010 Jan;29(1):72-86. doi: 10.1080/01639360903574668.


The aim of the present work was to evaluate the associations of bio-clinical, dietary, and other lifestyle characteristics with the prevalence of hypertriglyceridemia among older individuals living in the Mediterranean islands. Information was collected for an extensive array of demographic, bio-clinical, and dietary characteristics, including serum lipids, body weight and height, and food group and nutrient information derived from a food frequency questionnaire. Serum lipid analyses showed that 37% and 35% of males and females, respectively, had elevated triglyceride (TG) levels. After adjustment for a variety of potential confounders, including age, gender, hypertension, physical activity, smoking, and energy consumption, individuals with type 2 diabetes (T2D) had a 112% higher likelihood of hypertriglyceridemia (95% CI 1.28-3.51). When reported energy intake was quantified in tertiles of consumption, those in the highest tertile (i.e., intakes > 1300 kcal) had a 156% higher (p < 0.01) likelihood of having hypertriglyceridemia compared to the lowest tertile (i.e., <1000 kcal). Analysis by gender showed that energy intake did not predict hypertriglyceridemia in females (p = 0.31) or in those who were normal weight (p = 0.16) or overweight (p = 0.96). However, in males (odds ratio per 1 kcal = 1.001, 95% CI 1.000-1.002) and obese participants (odds ratio per 1 kcal = 1.001, 95% CI 1.000-1.002), excess energy consumption was associated with elevated TG. In conclusion, we found that a considerable proportion of the older adults living in the Mediterranean islands and participating in this study had elevated TG levels. Furthermore, the energy intake and a finding of T2D were positively associated with occurrence of hypertriglyceridemia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications*
  • Energy Intake*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / blood
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / epidemiology*
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / etiology
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Mediterranean Islands / epidemiology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Sex Factors
  • Triglycerides / blood*


  • Triglycerides