A previous meta-analysis provided convincing evidence for an inverse association between adherence to a Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) and the risk of all-cause mortality. Since then, 19 prospective studies have been published. We updated the evidence from these prospective studies and conducted a dose-response meta-analysis to test the linear and potential nonlinear dose-response associations between adherence to a MedDiet and the risk of all-cause mortality. The PubMed, Scopus, ISI Web of Knowledge, and Embase bibliographic databases were systematically searched up to August 24, 2018. Summary HRs were estimated with the use of a random-effects meta-analysis to assess the association between a 2-point increment in MedDiet adherence and the risk of all-cause mortality. Sensitivity and subgroup analyses were performed and potential publication bias was tested. Twenty-nine prospective studies with 1,676,901 participants and 221,603 cases of all-cause mortality were included in the final analysis. The pooled HR of all-cause mortality was 0.90 (95% CI: 0.89, 0.91; I2 = 81.1%) for a 2-point increment in adherence to a MedDiet. Subgroup analyses showed that a significant inverse association was stronger in participants who lived in the Mediterranean region compared with non-Mediterranean areas (HRs: 0.82 compared with 0.92, respectively), and in studies that used the Panagiotakos MedDiet score. A nonlinear dose-response meta-analysis indicated that the risk of all-cause mortality linearly decreased with the increase in adherence to a MedDiet. The robustness of findings was confirmed in the sensitivity analyses. In conclusion, low-quality evidence from prospective cohort studies suggests an inverse association between adherence to a MedDiet and the risk of all-cause mortality, especially in Mediterranean regions. An inverse linear dose-response relation was also observed between adherence to a MedDiet and the risk of all-cause mortality.
Keywords: Mediterranean diet; dose-response; meta-analysis; mortality; prospective cohort studies.
Copyright © American Society for Nutrition 2019.