May 20, 2019
1 min read

Mediterranean diet may prevent depression in older age

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SAN FRANCISCO – The Mediterranean diet could protect against depression later in life, according to a presentation at the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting.

Researchers used the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-15) to screen 154 adults with a mean age of 71 years from an urban area in Athens, Greece. They also used the Athens Insomnia Scale to assess sleep disturbances and the MedDietScore (MDS) to determine adherence to a Mediterranean diet.

“Although we should be cautious about the study findings, they represent another potential reason to adopt a Mediterranean diet,” Konstantinos Argyropoulos, MD, PhD, from Hellenic Open University in Greece, said during a press briefing. “Following a healthy lifestyle, which includes not only a Mediterranean-style diet, but also plenty of physical activity and drinking alcohol only in moderation, is linked to a reduction in depression.”

Argyropoulos and colleagues found that 64.3% of participants were moderately adherent to the Mediterranean diet, and although adherence to the diet was not significantly linked to GDS-15, a physician diagnosis of depression was significantly associated with MDS.

A logistical regression analysis found that for each unit increase in consumption of vegetables, participants were 20% less likely to develop symptoms of depression. The likelihood of developing depression dropped by 36.1% for each unit decrease in poultry consumption and by 28% for each unit decrease in alcohol consumption.

For more Healio coverage of this study, please click here. – by Erin Michael and Savannah Demko


Argyropoulos K, et al. Adherence to Mediterranean diet and risk of late-life depression. Presented at: APA Annual Meeting; May 18-22, 2019; San Francisco.

Disclosure: Argyropoulos reports no relevant financial disclosures.