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Was diet quality in midlife associated with later risk for dementia?

March 12, 2019

Bottom Line: The quality of diet for adults in midlife (average age 50) wasn't associated with later risk of dementia in a study that included adults followed for more than two decades. Other observational studies have suggested diet may be linked to cognitive health but those studies often had short follow-up periods that could not cover the long preclinical period before dementia diagnosis. In this study, about 8,200 adults were without dementia in 1991-1993 and 344 cases of dementia were recorded during nearly 25 years of follow-up. During that time, the adults completed diet questionnaires to assess the quality of their diets, with a higher consumption of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and legumes, omega-3 fatty acids and most polyunsaturated fatty acids indicating a healthier diet. Researchers report that repeated assessments of diet quality during midlife didn't show any significant association with subsequent risk for dementia. The study relied on self-reported food frequency questionnaires.

Authors: Tasnime N. Akbaraly, Ph.D., Université de Montpellier, Inserm, Montpellier, France, and coauthors.

(doi:10.1001/jama.2019.1432)

Editor's Note: The article contains conflict of interest and funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
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