Dietary Patterns and Intrinsic Capacity in Community-Dwelling Older Adults: A Cross-Sectional Study

J Nutr Health Aging. 2022;26(2):174-182. doi: 10.1007/s12603-022-1742-7.


Objectives: Few studies have investigated the link between diet and intrinsic capacity (IC), and the potential sex difference in such association. This study examined the association between dietary patterns and IC and its sub-domains in Chinese community-dwelling older adults.

Design: Cross-sectional analysis using baseline data from the MrOs and MsOs study.

Setting: Community.

Participants: Chinese community-dwelling older adults aged ≥65 years in Hong Kong.

Measurements: Dietary intake was assessed using a validated food frequency questionnaire and priori and posteriori dietary pattern scores were generated. IC including measures of cognitive, locomotor, vitality, sensory and psychological domains was assessed. Multiple logistic regression was performed to examine the associations between dietary pattern scores and the likelihood of greater IC and sub-domain scores with adjustment for sociodemographic and lifestyle factors.

Results: Data of 3730 participants (aged 72.2±5.0 years, 50.4% men) was available. In men, higher Diet Quality Index-International (DQI-I) and Okinawan diet scores, and lower "meat-fish" pattern scores were associated with greater IC. A higher DQI-I score was associated with greater locomotion, whereas higher "snacks-drinks-milk products" pattern score was associated with a greater sensory function. In women, none of the dietary pattern scores was associated with IC. Higher DQI-I score, Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay Diet (MIND) score and "vegetables-fruits" pattern score were associated with greater psychological function.

Conclusion: Various dietary patterns were associated with greater IC and its sub-domains in Chinese community-dwelling older adults, and more associations were observed in men than women. Strategies to improve diet and IC should take sex differences into account.

Keywords: Aged; diet quality; dietary patterns; healthy aging; intrinsic capacity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet
  • Diet, Mediterranean*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Independent Living*
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Vegetables