Food and Behaviour Research

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Dietary pattern in midlife and cognitive impairment in late life: a prospective study in Chinese adults

Wu J, Song X, Chen GC, Neelakantan N, van Dam RM, Feng L, Yuan JM, Pan A, Koh WP (2019) Am J Clin Nutr.  2019 Oct;110(4): 912-920. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqz150. 

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Abstract:

BACKGROUND:

Prospective studies linking dietary pattern and cognitive function in the elderly are limited in Asian populations.

OBJECTIVE:

We examined the associations between various healthful dietary patterns and risk of cognitive impairment in Chinese adults.

METHODS:

We used data from the Singapore Chinese Health Study of 16,948 men and women who were aged 45-74 y at baseline (1993-1998) and reinterviewed at the third follow-up visit (2014-2016), ∼20 y later. Diet quality at baseline was assessed according to the alternate Mediterranean diet (aMED), the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, the alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI)-2010, overall plant-based diet index (PDI), and healthful plant-based diet index (hPDI). Cognitive function was evaluated using a Singapore-modified Mini-Mental State Examination during the third follow-up visit when subjects were aged 61-96 y. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to compute ORs and 95% CIs associated with the risk of cognitive impairment defined using education-specific cut-offs.

RESULTS:

Cognitive impairment was present in 2443 (14.4%) participants. The OR (95% CI) for cognitive impairment comparing the highest with the lowest quartile of diet quality scores was 0.67 (0.59, 0.77) for aMED, 0.71 (0.62, 0.81) for DASH, 0.75 (0.66, 0.85) for AHEI-2010, 0.82 (0.71, 0.94) for PDI, and 0.78 (0.68, 0.90) for hPDI (all P values for trend <0.001). Each SD increment in different diet quality scores was associated with 7-16% lower risk of cognitive impairment.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results provide evidence that adherence to healthy dietary patterns in midlife is associated with a lower risk of cognitive impairment in late life in Chinese adults.

FAB RESEARCH COMMENT:

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