Diet and overall survival in elderly people

BMJ. 1995 Dec 2;311(7018):1457-60. doi: 10.1136/bmj.311.7018.1457.


Objective: To assess the influence of a specific dietary pattern on overall survival.

Design: Cohort study.

Setting: Three rural Greek villages, the data from which were collected as part of an international cross cultural study of food habits in later life.

Subjects: 182 elderly residents of the three villages.

Main outcome measure: Overall mortality.

Results: Diet was assessed with a validated extensive semiquantitative questionnaire on food intake. A one unit increase in diet score, devised a priori on the basis of eight component characteristics of the traditional common diet in the Mediterranean region, was associated with a significant 17% reduction in overall mortality (95% confidence interval 1% to 31%).

Conclusion: A diet meeting currently understood health criteria does predict survival among people.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diet Surveys
  • Diet*
  • Energy Intake
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Greece
  • Humans
  • Longevity
  • Male
  • Mortality*
  • Survival Analysis