Adherence to dietary guidelines and risk of dementia: a prospective cohort study of 94 184 individuals

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AIMS: Recent estimates suggest that 40% of dementia cases could be avoided by treating recognised cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, smoking and physical inactivity. Whether diet is associated with dementia remains largely unknown. We tested if low adherence to established dietary guidelines is associated with elevated lipids and lipoproteins and with increased risk of Alzheimer's disease and non-Alzheimer's dementia – a dementia subtype with a high frequency of cardiovascular risk factors. METHODS: We used the prospective Copenhagen General Population Study including 94 184 individuals with dietary information and free of dementia at baseline. Mean age at study entry was 58 years, and 55% (N = 51 720) were women and 45% (N = 42 464) were men. Adherence to dietary guidelines was grouped into low, intermediate and high adherence based on food frequency questionnaires. Main outcomes were non-Alzheimer's dementia and Alzheimer's disease. RESULTS: Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and plasma triglyceride levels were higher in individuals with intermediate and low adherence to dietary guidelines compared with individuals with high adherence (all p for trends <0.001). Age and sex-adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for non-Alzheimer's dementia v. individuals with high adherence were 1.19 (95% confidence interval 0.97–1.46) for intermediate adherence, and 1.54 (1.18–2.00) for low adherence. Corresponding HRs in multivariable-adjusted models including APOE genotype were 1.14 (0.92–1.40) and 1.35 (1.03–1.79). These relationships were not observed in individuals on lipid-lowering therapy. CONCLUSIONS: Low adherence to national dietary guidelines is associated with an atherogenic lipid profile and with increased risk of non-Alzheimer's dementia – the subtype of dementia with a high frequency of vascular risk factors. This study suggests that implementation of dietary guidelines associated with an anti-atherogenic lipid profile could be important for prevention of non-Alzheimer's dementia.

TidsskriftEpidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences
StatusUdgivet - 2022

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