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Influence of age and gender differences in the effect of a Mediterranean and low-fat diet on cardiovascular risk factors

(2012) Kerssemakers, A.M.

Background:
Mediterranean diet tends to have beneficial effects on risk factors of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). It remains unclear whether age and gender influence these beneficial effects.
Objective:
To analyze age and gender differences in the effect of a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil or nuts and a low-fat diet on annual change in body weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC) and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) in the PREDIMED study.
Method:
7447 High-risk participants free of CVD at baseline, included men (55-80 years) and women (60-80 years), were randomly assigned to one of three intervention groups: Mediterranean diet with extra virgin olive oil, Mediterranean diet with mixed nuts or low-fat diet. General linear measurement analyzes were performed to analyze age and gender differences in annual change in body weight, BMI, WC and WHtR.
Results:
Mean age was 67 years and more than half population was women.
In general, both Mediterranean and low-fat diet showed an annual decrease for weight and BMI and annual increase for WC and WHtR. Decrease in weight and BMI was stronger with older age, but for WC and WHtR no such tendencies were found.
Between genders no differences were observed in the annual weight or BMI change. Annually, WC and WHtR decreased for women and increased for men. However, these differences were no longer evident when the analysis was adjusted for energy intake.
Conclusion:
Mediterranean diet and low-fat diet caused similar annual changes in weight, BMI, WC and WHtR in women compared to men. However, the annual reduction of weight and BMI became stronger with ageing.





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