APA 2019—Mediterranean-type diet tied to reduced depression in later life


  • Emily Willingham, PhD
  • Conference Reports
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Takeaway

  • Among older adults, adhering to a Mediterranean-type diet might confer some protection against symptoms of depression, which are common in this age group. 

Why this matters

  • This diet is already well known for its ties to good health and emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts, olive oil, and animal products in moderation.
  • Components of adherence also include exercise and enjoying food with family and friends.

Key results

  • 24.7% of older adults screened positive for depression symptoms, women more frequently.
  • Lower education (P=.012), lower income (P=.003), and comorbidity (P<.001 were all tied to depression risk.>
  • A Mediterranean diet specifically was not significantly associated with scores on the Geriatric Depression Scale (P=.051), but a Mediterranean dietary pattern was tied to decreased likelihood of developing late-life depression. 

Study design

  • Cross-sectional study, Greece.
  • Participants completed a questionnaire, the Geriatric Depression Scale-15.

Limitations

  • No causation established.
  • Results presented without peer review at a conference.

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