The authors of a study just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association have given the assurance that diet quality in midlife is not associated with subsequent dementia risk.

Tasnime N. Akbaraly, Ph.D., from the University Research and Hospital Center of Montpellier in France, and colleagues examined the correlation between midlife diet and subsequent dementia risk. Data were included for 8,225 participants without dementia in 1991 to 1993 (mean age, 50.2 years).

The researchers found that during 24.8 years of follow up, 344 cases of incident dementia were recorded. There was no significant difference in the incidence rate for dementia according to tertiles of the 11-component diet quality Alternate Healthy

Eating Index (AHEI) exposure during 1991 to 1993, 1997 to 1999, and 2002 to 2004. In the lowest tertile of diet quality in 1991 to 1993, the incidence rate for dementia was 1.76 per 1,000 person-years; the absolute rate difference was 0.03 (95 percent confidence interval, −0.43 to 0.49) and 0.04 (95 percent confidence interval, −0.42 to 0.51) per 1,000 person-years for the intermediate and best quartiles, respectively.

The adjusted hazard ratios for dementia for one-standard deviation AHEI increment were not significant as assessed in 1991 to 1993, 1997 to 1999, or 2002 to 2004 in the multivariable analysis.

“Whether a healthy diet plays a role in shaping cognitive outcomes in combination with other healthy behaviours or in subgroups at increased risk for dementia,” the authors added, “remains unclear.”


REFERENCE: Akbaraly et al: Association of Midlife Diet With Subsequent Risk for Dementia;