The Mediterranean healthy eating, ageing, and lifestyle (MEAL) study: rationale and study design.
Sommaire de l'article
There is accumulating evidence suggesting that Mediterranean lifestyles, including nutrition and sleeping patterns as well as social integration, may play a role in reducing age-related diseases. However, the literature is mostly deficient of evidence provided by Italian Mediterranean islands that more closely adhered to the originally described lifestyles. In this paper, we described the rationale and the study design of the Mediterranean healthy Eating, Ageing, and Lifestyle (MEAL) study, a prospective population-based cohort established in Sicily, southern Italy. The main exposures investigated are classical determinants of health, including demographic, nutritional habits, smoking and physical activity status, as well as eating-related behaviors, sleeping habits, sun exposure, social resources, and perceived stress. Anthropometric measurements will be collected. The main outcomes included depression, quality of life, and, after the follow-up period, also cardiovascular disease and cancer. The MEAL study may provide important data to increase our knowledge regarding the prevalence, incidence, and risk factors of age-related disorders in the Mediterranean region.