Mediterranean Diet and Fatigue among Community-Dwelling Postmenopausal Women

J Nutr Gerontol Geriatr. 2022 Jan-Mar;41(1):22-45. doi: 10.1080/21551197.2022.2025972. Epub 2022 Jan 18.


We investigated cross-sectional relationships between the Mediterranean diet and overall fatigue, energy, and weariness scores among 4,563 women aged 65+ from the Women's Health Initiative study. We also used the Isocaloric Substitution approach to explore whether the substitution of fish for red and processed meat, whole for non-whole grains, and whole fruit for fruit juice relate to RAND-36 measured overall fatigue and its subdomains. The alternate Mediterranean Diet (aMED) Index quintiles (Q1-Q5) and selected Mediterranean foods available on a Food Frequency Questionnaire were exposure measures. Results showed aMED Q5 was associated with 2.99 (95% CI: 0.88, 5.11), 4.01 (95% CI: 1.51, 6.53), and 2.47 (95% CI: 0.24, 4.70) point improvements in fatigue, energy, and weariness scores, respectively, compared with aMED Q1. Substituting fish for red and processed meat and whole for non-whole grains was associated with more favorable fatigue scores, whereas substituting whole fruit for juice was not.

Keywords: Fatigue; Mediterranean diet; older women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Diet
  • Diet, Mediterranean*
  • Fatigue / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Independent Living
  • Postmenopause
  • Women's Health