Lower fluid and fruits/vegetable intake in questionable dementia among older Hong Kong Chinese.J Nutr Health Aging. 2010 Jan; 14(1):45-9.JN
Nutrition plays a role in the ageing process of the brain and suboptimal nutrient intake might precede clinical cognitive impairment. A diet high in fruits and vegetables has been recommended while little has been said about the influence of fluid intake in cognitive function. We examine the dietary pattern of community-dwelling older individuals with questionable dementia and compared that with normal individuals.
285 community-dwellers aged 60 or older.
Dietary habits were recorded using the Mini-Nutritional Assessment (MNA). Questionable dementia was diagnosed by psychogeriatricians and relevant demographic and dietary factors were examined using univariate then multivariate analyses.
146 questionable dementia and 139 cognitively normal subjects were interviewed. Both groups were not at risk of malnutrition (MNA score 26.1 vs. 26.7 respectively, p = 0.02). The former were older, had fewer years of education, lower MMSE and ADAS-cog as well as lower MNA scores. In univariate analysis, questionable dementia was associated with decline in food intake and appetite, eating less vegetables and fruits, and drinking less fluid. After adjustment for age, gender and education level, eating > 2 servings of vegetables / fruits per day (OR 0.26, 95% CI 0.067, 0.973) and taking > 5 cups of fluids per day (OR 0.4, 95% CI 0.204, 0.792) was associated with a lower prevalence of questionable dementia.
Older people with questionable dementia have lower intakes of vegetables, fruits and fluid than those who were cognitively normal. This may pose additional health risks, and increase their chance of progressing into dementia.