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Cardiology Research and Practice
Volume 2011, Article ID 901651, 7 pages
Review Article

Lessons from Studies in Middle-Aged and Older Adults Living in Mediterranean Islands: The Role of Dietary Habits and Nutrition Services

Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Harokopio University, 17671 Kallithea, El. Benizelou 70, Attica, Athens, Greece

Received 31 August 2010; Accepted 9 September 2010

Academic Editor: Demosthenes Panagiotakos

Copyright © 2011 Stefanos Tyrovolas and Evangelos Polychronopoulos. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Islands in the Mediterranean basin share particular habits and traditions and greater life expectancy than other European regions. In this paper, particular interest has been given to the effect of the Mediterranean diet, as well as nutritional services on CVD risk, on Mediterranean islands. Methods. Published results from observational studies were retrieved from electronic databases (Pubmed and Scopus) and summarized. Results. Prevalence of CVD risk factors is increased. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet was moderate, even among the elderly participants. Furthermore, the presence of a dietician was associated with higher adherence to the Mediterranean dietary pattern and consequently lowers CVD risk. Conclusion. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet is reduced, while the prevalence of CVD risk factors is increasing at alarming rates. Public health nutrition policy has the opportunity to improve the health and quality of life of people living in isolated insular areas of the Mediterranean basin.