Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2017 Aug;65(8):1857-1862.
doi: 10.1111/jgs.14922. Epub 2017 Apr 25.

Neuroprotective Diets Are Associated With Better Cognitive Function: The Health and Retirement Study

Affiliations
Free PMC article

Neuroprotective Diets Are Associated With Better Cognitive Function: The Health and Retirement Study

Claire T McEvoy et al. J Am Geriatr Soc. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Objectives: To evaluate the association between the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) and the Mediterranean-DASH diet Intervention for Neurodegeneration Delay (MIND diet) and cognition in a nationally representative population of older U.S. adults.

Design: Population-based cross-sectional study.

Setting: Health and Retirement Study.

Participants: Community-dwelling older adults (N = 5,907; mean age 67.8 ± 10.8).

Measurements: Adherence to dietary patterns was determined from food frequency questionnaires using criteria determined a priori to generate diet scores for the MedDiet (range 0-55) and MIND diet (range 0-15). Cognitive performance was measured using a composite test score of global cognitive function (range 0-27). Linear regression was used to compare cognitive performance according to tertiles of dietary pattern. Logistic regression was used to examine the association between dietary patterns and clinically significant cognitive impairment. Models were adjusted for age, sex, race, educational attainment, and other health and lifestyle covariates.

Results: Participants with mid (odds ratio (OR) = 0.85, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.71-1.02, P = .08) and high (OR 0.65, 95% CI = 0.52-0.81, P < .001) MedDiet scores were less likely to have poor cognitive performance than those with low scores in fully adjusted models. Results for the MIND diet were similar. Higher scores in each dietary pattern were independently associated with significantly better cognitive function (P < .001) in a dose-response manner (P trend < .001).

Conclusion: In a large nationally representative population of older adults, greater adherence to the MedDiet and MIND diet was independently associated with better cognitive function and lower risk of cognitive impairment. Clinical trials are required to elucidate the role of dietary patterns in cognitive aging.

Keywords: cognitive performance; dietary patterns.

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of Interest. The authors have no relevant financial or personal conflicts to declare.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Adjusteda Odds Ratios (95% CI) for Poor Cognitive Performance by Mid and High Tertiles Compared to Low Tertile (reference) of MedDiet and MIND Diet Scores

Comment in

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 14 articles

See all "Cited by" articles
Feedback