A Prospective Association of Nut Consumption with Cognitive Function in Chinese Adults aged 55+ _ China Health and Nutrition Survey

J Nutr Health Aging. 2019;23(2):211-216. doi: 10.1007/s12603-018-1122-5.


Objectives: We aimed to investigate the association of nut intake with cognitive function in Chinese adults aged 55 and over.

Design: This was a prospective open cohort study with repeated measurements of diet and cognition scores. Participants/settings: 4822 adults aged 55 and over participating in the China Health Nutrition Survey during 1991-2006.

Measurements: Global cognitive function measured repeatedly in 1997, 2001, 2004, and 2006 using a subset of modified Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status; poor cognitive function was defined as cognition score<7. Nut consumption was collected using 3-day 24 recall method in 1991, 1993, and at surveys of cognition assessment.

Statistical analyses performed: Multilevel mixed effect linear regression and logistic regression analysis were conducted to assess the association with cognitive function.

Results: The unadjusted cognitive score decreased by 0.29 (95% CI 0.22-0.28) with one-year aging during 1997-2006. Nut intake of more than 10g/d was associated with higher cognition score by 0.63 points (95% CI 0.15-1.12) or 40% less likely to have poor cognitive function (OR 0.60, 95% CI 0.43-0.84) after adjusted for demographic, lifestyle behavioural, BMI, and energy intake.

Conclusions: Nut consumption was inversely associated with cognition decline.

Keywords: China Nutrition and Health Survey; Nut consumption; cognition function; prospective association.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging
  • China
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mental Recall
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys / methods*
  • Nutritional Status / physiology*
  • Nuts*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires