To study consumption of major dietary antioxidants in relation to long-term risk of dementia.
DESIGN AND SETTING
The Rotterdam Study, a population-based, prospective cohort study in the Netherlands.
A total of 5,395 participants, aged 55+ years, who were free of dementia and provided dietary information at study baseline.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
Incidence of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (AD), based on internationally accepted criteria, in relation to dietary intake of vitamin E, vitamin C, beta carotene, and flavonoids.
During an average follow-up period of 9.6 years, dementia developed in 465 participants, of whom 365 were diagnosed with AD. In multivariate models adjusted for age, education, APOE ε4 genotype, total energy intake, alcohol intake, smoking habits, body-mass index (BMI), and supplement use, higher intake of vitamin E at baseline was associated with a lower long-term risk of dementia (p-trend=0.02). Compared to participants in the lowest tertile of vitamin E intake, those in the highest tertile were 25% less likely to develop dementia (HR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.59–0.95 with adjustment for potential confounders). Dietary intakes of vitamin C, beta carotene, and flavonoids were not associated with dementia risk (after multivariate adjustment, p-trend=1.0 for both vitamin C and beta carotene and p-trend=0.6 for flavonoids). Results were similar when AD risk was specifically examined.
Higher intake of foods rich in vitamin E may modestly reduce long-term risk of dementia and AD.