Kim J, Yu A, Choi BY, Nam JH, Kim MK, Oh DH, Kim K, Yang YJ. - 45494 N - Eur J Nutr 2014 ; in press.

Dietary patterns and cognitive function in Korean older adults

PURPOSE: The objectives of this study were to identify major dietary patterns and to investigate the association between dietary patterns and cognitive function in older adults.

METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study. The data from the Korean Multi-Rural Communities Cohort Study, which is a part of the Korean Genome Epidemiology Study, were used. There were 806 (340 men and 466 women) subjects aged >/=60 years. Usual dietary intake was assessed using a quantitative food frequency questionnaire with 106 food items. Cognitive function was assessed using the Korean version Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE-KC). We conducted factor analysis using the principal component analysis method to identify the major dietary patterns. The association between major dietary patterns and cognitive function was investigated by logistic regression analysis.

RESULTS: Three major dietary patterns were identified and assigned descriptive names based on the food items with high loadings: “prudent” pattern, “bread, egg, and dairy” pattern, and “white rice only” pattern. As the white rice only pattern scores increased, a significant decreasing trend for MMSE-KC scores was observed after adjusting for covariates. The bread, egg, and dairy pattern was inversely related to the risk of cognitive impairment, and the white rice only pattern was positively associated with the risk of cognitive impairment.

CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that specific dietary patterns were significantly associated with cognitive impairment in older adults. In particular, like the white rice only pattern, a rice-centered diet without well-balanced meals may increase the risk of cognitive impairment. However, since our study is a cross-sectional design, the possibility of reverse causality should be considered.

Keywords: Dietary patterns; Cognitive function; Older adults; Cognitive impairment.