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Dietary Habits at Midlife Not Tied to Later Risk for Dementia

No links seen between following conventional dietary recommendations or modified Mediterranean diet at midlife and dementia, AD risks

THURSDAY, Oct. 13, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Following conventional dietary recommendations or a modified Mediterranean diet at midlife is not associated with the subsequent risk for all-cause dementia, according to a study published online Oct. 12 in Neurology.

Isabelle Glans, M.D., from Lund University in Sweden, and colleagues examined whether adherence to conventional dietary recommendations or to a modified Mediterranean diet is associated with the subsequent risk for all-cause dementia, Alzheimer disease (AD), or vascular dementia (VaD) or with future accumulation of AD-related β-amyloid (Aβ). Baseline examination took place in 1991 to 1996 in the prospective Malmö Diet and Cancer Study, with follow-up for incident dementia until 2014. A total of 30,446 participants were recruited; 28,025 had dietary data and were included in this study.

During a median follow-up of 19.8 years, 1,943 participants (6.9 percent) were diagnosed with dementia. The researchers found that the risk for developing all-cause dementia, AD, and VaD was not lower for individuals adhering to conventional dietary recommendations. Furthermore, adherence to the modified Mediterranean diet did not reduce the risk for developing all-cause dementia, AD, or VaD. When excluding patients developing dementia within five years or those with diabetes, the results were similar. No significant associations were seen between diet and abnormal Aβ accumulation for conventional recommendations or for the modified Mediterranean diet.

“Diet as a singular factor may not have a strong enough effect on cognition, but is more likely to be considered as one factor embedded with various others, the sum of which may influence the course of cognitive function,” write the authors of an accompanying editorial.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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