Healthy Diet in Midlife May Not Stave Off Dementia – MedPage Today

Healthy Diet in Midlife May Not Stave Off Dementia – MedPage Today

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A high-quality diet in midlife did not seem to be protective against dementia, long-term data suggested. During a median follow-up of nearly 25 years, a better quality diet in midlife as measured by the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI) was not significantly associated with a subsequent risk for dementia, reported Tasnime Akbaraly, PhD, of University Research and Hospital Center of Montpellier in France, and colleagues in JAMA.
Looking at dietary exposures of this group of middle-age adults (mean age 50.2) throughout three time periods of life, a better diet -- each 1-SD increment higher on the 10-point scale -- was not tied to a lower risk for dementia risk when compared with the worst diet: Dietary exposures 1991-1993: adjusted HR 0.97 (95% CI 0.87-1.08) Dietary exposures 1997-1999: aHR 0.97 (95% CI 0.83-1.12) Dietary exposures 2002-2004: aHR 0.87 (95% CI 0.75-1.00) "Slower cognitive decline and reduced risk for dementia have been found with adherence to the recommended food score, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay diet, and the AHEI in some but not all studies, " the authors stated. "The Mediterranean diet is by far the index that received the most attention, and it ....


Electronic health records were used to ascertain a diagnosis of incident dementia up until 2017. Throughout the nearly 25-year follow-up period, 344 incident cases of dementia were identified among this group, with an average age of 76 at the time of diagnosis. Despite the lack of significant association between diet quality and dementia, Akbaraly's group pointed out how their findings "suggested a slight decrease in diet quality in the years preceding dementia diagnosis, which also was reported in another study, and is compatible with the hypothesis that change in diet quality is a feature (among others) of preclinical dementia, " which could be the basis for future research in this area. The Whitehall II study was supported by the UK Medical Research Council, the British Heart Foundation, the British Health and Safety Executive, the British Department of Health, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Institute on Aging, and the Economic and Social Research Council. Akbaraly disclosed support from the Center of Excellence for Neurodegenerative Disorders (Hospital Center of Montpellier). Co-authors disclosed support from the Academy of Finland, the Helsinki Institute of Life Sciences, the Nordic Programme on Health and Welfare, NordForsk, and ERC Horizon 2020. ....

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