Mediterranean Diet Tied to Lower Risk for Dementia

Individuals with a higher adherence to a Mediterranean diet had up to 23 percent lower risk for dementia, regardless of genetic risk

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THURSDAY, March 30, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) is associated with lower dementia risk, independent of genetic risk, according to a study published online March 14 in BMC Medicine.

Oliver M. Shannon, Ph.D., from Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, and colleagues explored the associations between MedDiet adherence using two different scores (Mediterranean Diet Adherence Screener [MEDAS] continuous and Mediterranean Diet Pyramid [PYRAMID] scores) and incident all-cause dementia risk among 60,298 participants from the U.K. Biobank, followed for an average 9.1 years. Additionally, the interaction between diet and polygenic risk for dementia was examined.

The researchers found that higher MedDiet adherence was associated with lower dementia risk (MEDAS continuous: hazard ratio, 0.77 [95 percent confidence interval, 0.65 to 0.91]; PYRAMID: hazard ratio, 0.86 [95 percent confidence interval, 0.73 to 1.02] for highest versus lowest tertiles). However, neither MEDAS continuous nor PYRAMID scores showed a significant interaction with polygenic risk for dementia.

"In this large population-based prospective cohort study, higher adherence to a MedDiet was associated with reduced dementia risk," the authors write. "There was no clear evidence for an interaction with genetic risk. These results underline the importance of dietary interventions in future dementia prevention strategies regardless of genetic predisposition."

Abstract/Full Text

Lori Solomon

Lori Solomon

Medically reviewed by Mark Arredondo, M.D.

Updated on March 30, 2023

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