Successful aging among elders living in the Mani continental region vs. Insular areas of the mediterranean: The MEDIS study

Anargiros Mariolis, Alexandra Foscolou, Stefanos Tyrovolas, Suzanne Piscopo, Giuseppe Valacchi, Nikos Tsakountakis, Akis Zeimbekis, Vassiliki Bountziouka, Efthimios Gotsis, George Metallinos, Dimitra Tyrovola, Josep Antoni Tur, Antonia Leda Matalas, Christos Lionis, Evangelos Polychronopoulos, Demosthenes Panagiotakos

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To evaluate the role of geography i.e., continental vs. insular Mediterranean, on successful aging among older inhabitants. During 2005-2014, 2693 elderly (aged 65 to 100 years) individuals from 21 Mediterranean islands in Greece, Italy and Spain as well as Cyprus, Malta, and the rural region of Mani (southeast continental region of Greece keeping old-time traditions), were voluntarily recruited. Successful aging was evaluated using a validated index composed of 10 health-related socio-lifestyle and clinical characteristics. After accounting for age, sex, body mass index (BMI), physical activity, smoking habits, MedDietScore and access to health care services, the older inhabitants of islands were found to have a higher level of the successful aging index when compared to their counterparts in Mani (Beta=0.174, p<0.001); moreover, islanders exhibited slightly more years of "good" health (68.7 vs 68.4 years for Mani residents (p=0.99)). However, compared to the residents of Mani, islanders had 1.64 times higher odds (95%CI, 1.08-2.48) for having hypertension, 2.4-times higher odds (95%CI, 1.34-4.21) for having diabetes and 1.52 times higher odds (95%CI, 0.97-2.38) for having hypercholesterolemia. Engaging in physical activities and healthy dietary habits were the major determinants of healthy aging, among islanders as compared to their counterparts of continental Mani region. Elder residents of the continental Mani area enjoyed a better health status, whereas elder islanders had a higher level of successful aging; a finding which could be attributed to differences in lifestyle among elders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-294
Number of pages10
JournalAging and Disease
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cardiometabolic risk
  • Lifestyle
  • Longevity
  • Mani region
  • Mediterranean islands
  • Successful aging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cell Biology

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