Factors associated with Mediterranean diet adherence in Huntington's disease

Clin Nutr ESPEN. 2016 Apr:12:e7-e13. doi: 10.1016/j.clnesp.2016.01.001. Epub 2016 Mar 5.


Background & aims: Little is known about the importance of the Mediterranean Diet (MeDi) and dietary intake as environmental neuroprotective factors in Huntington's disease (HD); so, we evaluated and analyzed the prevalence and factors associated with MeDi adherence, and dietary intake in HD.

Methods: Spanish participants of the European Huntington Disease Network (EHDN) Registry study diagnosed with HD or premanifest HD gene carriers were included from June 2012 to August 2013. Self-reported dietary intake was collected by 3-day dietary record, MeDi adherence was assessed by 0-9 range (proposed by Trichopoulou et al.) and, other contributing factors related to nutrition were collected by telephone. Demographics and clinical variables were obtained from the EHDN Registry study database. Association of HD with MeDi adherence and nutritional characteristics were performed using logistic regression models.

Results: Ninety eight participants were included in the study, median age of 48 years (38-60 range), and median total functional capacity (TFC) 9 (5-13 range). HD severity was similar between participants with low vs moderate/high MeDi; however, quality of life (P = 0.009) was significantly higher among participants with moderate/high MeDi adherence. In terms of nutrients, higher MUFA/SFA intake was moderately correlated with better TFC and Unified HD Rating Scale (UHDRS) cognitive. Better TFC was associated with having a caregiver (OR = 11.86, P < 0.001), and non-smoking (OR = 0.21, P = 0.013). Moderate adherence to MeDi, was associated with older participants (OR = 1.19, P = 0.031), lower comorbidity (OR = 0.18, P = 0.018), lower UHDRS motor (OR = 0.90, P = 0.041), and lower risk for abdominal obesity (OR = 0.02, P = 0.011).

Conclusions: In HD the moderate MeDi adherence is associated with better quality of life, lower comorbidity, lower motor impairment and lower risk for abdominal obesity compared to those participants with low MeDi adherence.

Keywords: BMI; Dietary intake; Huntington's disease; Mediterranean diet; Nutrients; Total functional capacity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Comorbidity
  • Diet Records
  • Diet, Mediterranean*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Huntington Disease / diet therapy*
  • Huntington Disease / epidemiology
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritional Status
  • Obesity, Abdominal / epidemiology
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Quality of Life
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Spain / epidemiology