CHICAGO, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Individuals 70 to 90 years old who kept a Mediterranean-type diet and other healthy habits had a more than 50 percent lower death rate, a Dutch study found.
Kim Knoops, of Wageningen University, in the Netherlands, conducted a study between 1988 and 2000 of 1,507 apparently healthy men and 832 women, aged 70 to 90 years in 11 European countries.
The study found that keeping a Mediterranean diet was associated with a 23 percent lower risk of all-cause death; moderate alcohol use, a 22 percent lower risk; physical activity, a 37 percent lower risk; and non-smoking, a 35 percent lower risk.
Having all four low risk factors lowered the all-cause death rate by 65 percent.
In another study, Dr. Katherine Esposito, of the Second University of Naples, Italy, showed a Mediterranean-style diet had beneficial effects in reducing vascular inflammatory markers that can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
The Mediterranean-style diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, walnuts, and olive oil might be effective in reducing both the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome and its associated cardiovascular risk, Esposito said.
Both studies appear in the September 22-29 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.