Potato Consumption is not Associated with Higher Risk of Mortality: A Longitudinal Study among Southern Italian Older Adults


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Objective: The consumption of potatoes is increasing worldwide, but few studies have assessed the association between potato consumption and mortality, particularly in Mediterranean countries. We therefore investigated whether potato consumption is associated with higher risk of death in a large cohort of people living in South Italy. Design: Longitudinal. Setting: Community-dwelling. Measurements: 2,442 participants coming from MICOL and NUTRIHEP studies aged more than 50 years at baseline were followed-up for 11 years. Dietary intake was assessed by means of a Food Frequency Questionnaire. Potato consumption was categorized in quintiles according to their daily consumption (< 3.95, 3.96-8.55, 8.56-15.67, 15.68-22.0, and > 22.0 g/day). Mortality was ascertained through validated cases of death. The association between potato consumption and mortality was assessed through Cox’s regression models, adjusted for potential confounders, and reporting the data as hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Results: The 2,442 eligible participants were prevalently males (54.6%) and aged a mean of 64.3±9.3 years. During the 11-year follow-up, 396 (=16.2%) participants died. After adjusting for 12 potential baseline confounders, and taking those with the lowest consumption of potatoes as the reference group, participants with the highest consumption of potatoes did not have an increased overall mortality risk (HR=0.75; 95%CI: 0.53-1.07). Modelling the potato consumption as continuous (i.e. as increase in 10 g/day) did not substantially change our findings (fully-adjusted HR=0.93; 95%CI: 0.84-1.02). Conclusion: Overall potato consumption was not associated with higher risk of death in older people living in a Mediterranean area. Future studies are warranted to elucidate the role of potato consumption on all-cause and cause-specific mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)726-730
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nutrition, Health and Aging
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2018



  • cohort study
  • FFQ
  • Mediterranean diet
  • mortality
  • Potato

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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