Relationships between dietary intake and cognitive function level in Korean elderly people

Public Health. 2001 Mar;115(2):133-8. doi: 10.1038/sj/ph/1900729.

Abstract

We examined the relationship between dietary intake and cognitive performance in Korean elderly people. Data for dietary intake, anthropometric measurements and cognitive function tests were collected and the relationships of the variables were analyzed. A random sample of 210 men and 239 women in Korea, aged 60 and over, was selected. Subjects were free-living elderly people who had not experienced major cognitive function impairment. Main outcome measures, 24 h dietary recall method, food behaviour variables, anthropometrics indices, health variables, and Kwon's Mini-Mental State Examination for Koreans (MMSE-K) for cognitive function test. The prevalence rate of poor cognitive function (MMSE-K score < or = 19) of Korean elderly was 22.3%: women with poor cognitive function had a higher rate (31.0%) than that in men (12.3%). Cognitive ability was related negatively with age and positively with school education level. Female subjects of poor cognitive function had significantly lower intakes of total amount of foods, cereals, vegetables, fruits, milk, spices, and also, energy, protein, fat, carbohydrate, Ca, P, Fe, vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin than those of the normal cognitive score (> or = 24) group (P < 0.05). Male subjects of poor cognitive function had significantly lower intakes of fruits, fiber, and vitamin C than the normal subjects (P < 0.05). The MMSE-K score of female subjects showed a significant positive correlation with total amount of foods, cereals, beans, fruits, milk, oil, spices, and energy, protein, fat, carbohydrate, Ca, Fe, P, riboflavin and niacin intakes. The consumption of adequate nutrients, by taking sufficient amounts and variety of foods, may be important in maintaining adequate cognitive function in elderly Koreans.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cognition / classification*
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Diet / adverse effects
  • Diet / classification*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Korea
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys*
  • Nutritional Status
  • Surveys and Questionnaires