Effect of the Mediterranean diet on longevity

Here are the results from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-AARP (formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons) Diet and Health Study.

First, the details.

  • More than 380,000 men and women participated.
  • The results represent a 5-year follow-up.

And, the results.

  • The Mediterranean diet was associated with reduced mortality.
  • For those who stayed with the diet, death due to cancer and death due to any cause were lower compared to poor adherence.
  • The benefits of the diet were more pronounced in smokers — especially in lean smokers.
  • It appeared that the increased risk of death due to obesity might mask the effects of the Mediterranean diet.

The bottom line?
This is the largest study to evaluate the Mediterranean diet and mortality in a US population. It appears that people who stay with this diet will benefit from a reduce risk of death over a 5-year period.

12/21/07 19:29 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.