Well-Known Diet Lessens Frailty Risk

Adults aged 60 years or older who adhere to a Mediterranean diet have a significantly lower risk of incident frailty, according to a recent systematic review and meta-analysis.

On September 14, 2017, the researchers identified and screened 125 studies that had investigated the potential association between adherence to a Mediterranean diet and incident frailty. Study data were obtained from Embase, MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and Cochrane Library.

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Of the 125 studies screened, 4 (n=5789) were deemed eligible following independent review. All 4 eligible studies had provided adjusted odds ratios (ORs) of incident frailty risk based on Mediterranean diet score (MDS) categories of 0 to 3, 4 to 5, and 6 to 9.

Findings from each study indicated that greater adherence to a Mediterranean diet was associated with a significantly reduced risk of incident frailty (pooled odds ORs 0.62 for MDS 4 to 5, 0.44 for MDS 6 to 9) vs poorer adherence to the diet (MDS 0 to 3).

The researchers noted that they did not observe any significant heterogeneity or evidence of publication bias.

“Greater adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with significantly lower risk of incident frailty in community-dwelling older people,” the researchers concluded. “Future studies should confirm these findings and evaluate whether adherence to a Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of frailty, including in non-Mediterranean populations.”

—Christina Vogt


Kojima G, Avgerinou C, Iliffe S, Walters K. Adherence to Mediterranean diet reduces incident frailty risk: systematic review and meta-analysis [Published online January 11, 2018]. J Am Geriatr Soc. doi:10.1111/jgs.15251.