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Mediterranean Diet and SARS-COV-2 Infection: Is There Any Association? A Proof-of-Concept Study

Ponzo et al., Nutrients, doi:10.3390/nu13051721
May 2021  
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Retrospective 1,206 healthcare professionals in Italy, showing the risk of COVID-19 infection inversely associated with adherence to the Mediterranean diet.
Ponzo et al., 19 May 2021, retrospective, Italy, peer-reviewed, survey, 9 authors.
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Mediterranean Diet and SARS-COV-2 Infection: Is There Any Association? A Proof-of-Concept Study
Valentina Ponzo, Marianna Pellegrini, Chiara D’eusebio, Fabio Bioletto, Ilaria Goitre, Silvio Buscemi, Simone Frea, Ezio Ghigo, Simona Bo
Nutrients, doi:10.3390/nu13051721
The aim of this observational study was investigating the possible correlation between adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MeD) and SARS-COV-2 infection rates and severity among healthcare professionals (HCPs). An online self-administrated questionnaire (evaluating both MeD adherence and dietary habits) was filled out by HCPs working in Piedmont (Northern Italy) from 15 January to 28 February 2021. Out of the 1206 questionnaires collected, 900 were considered reliable and analyzed. Individuals who reported the SARS-COV-2 infection (n = 148) showed a significantly lower MeD score, with a lower adherence in fruit, vegetables, cereals, and olive oil consumption. In a logistic regression model, the risk of infection was inversely associated with the MeD score (OR = 0.88; 95% CI 0.81-0.97) and the consumption of cereals (OR = 0.64; 0.45-0.90). Asymptomatic individuals with SARS-COV-2 infection reported a lower intake of saturated fats than symptomatic; individuals requiring hospitalization were significantly older and reported worse dietary habits than both asymptomatic and symptomatic individuals. After combining all symptomatic individuals together, age (OR = 1.05; 1.01-1.09) and saturated fats intake (OR = 1.09; 1.01-1.17) were associated with the infection severity. HCPs who reported a SARS-COV-2 infection showed a significantly lower MeD score and cereal consumption. The infection severity was directly associated with higher age and saturated fat intake.
Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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