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Mediterranean dietary pattern and mortality among young women: a cohort study in Sweden

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 March 2007

Pagona Lagiou*
Affiliation:
Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, University of Athens Medical School, 75 M. Asias Street, Goudi, GR-115 27, Athens, Greece Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115, USA
Dimitrios Trichopoulos
Affiliation:
Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, University of Athens Medical School, 75 M. Asias Street, Goudi, GR-115 27, Athens, Greece Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115, USA
Sven Sandin
Affiliation:
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, SE-17177, Stockholm, Sweden
Areti Lagiou
Affiliation:
Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, University of Athens Medical School, 75 M. Asias Street, Goudi, GR-115 27, Athens, Greece Faculty of Health Professions, Athens Technological Institute (TEI), 274 Thivon Avenue, Athens, Greece
Lorelei Mucci
Affiliation:
Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115, USA Channing Laboratory, Harvard Medical School, 181 Longwood Avenue, Boston MA 02115, USA
Alicja Wolk
Affiliation:
Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Box 210, SE-17177, Stockholm, Sweden
Elisabete Elisabete
Affiliation:
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, SE-17177, Stockholm, Sweden The Cancer Registry of Norway, Montebello, N-0310, Oslo, Norway
Hans-Olov Adami
Affiliation:
Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115, USA Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, SE-17177, Stockholm, Sweden
*
*Corresponding author: Dr Pagona Lagiou, fax +30 210 746 2080, email pdlagiou@med.uoa.gr
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Abstract

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Studies of diet and health focus increasingly on dietary patterns. Although the traditional Mediterranean diet is perceived as being healthy, there is little information on its possible benefit to young people. We studied whether closer adherence to the traditional Mediterranean dietary pattern was associated with overall and cancer mortality in a cohort of 42237 young women, aged 30–49 years at enrolment, who were recruited in 1991–2 from the general population in the Uppsala Health Care Region, Sweden, and followed up, almost completely, for about 12 years. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet was assessed by a 10-point score incorporating the characteristics of this diet. Among women less than 40 years old at enrolment – whose causes of death are mainly cancer with probable genetic influences, injuries or suicide – there was no association of the Mediterranean diet score with total or cancer mortality. Among women 40–49 years old at enrolment, a 2-point increase in the score was associated with considerable reductions in overall mortality (13%; 95% CI 1%, 23%; P∼0·05) and cancer mortality (16%; 95% CI −1%, 29%; P∼0·06). Few cardiovascular deaths occurred in this cohort of young women. The findings of the present study in a northern European population of young women indicate that closer adherence to a Mediterranean dietary pattern reduces mortality even among young persons.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Nutrition Society 2006

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