Higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MeDi) may protect from Alzheimer’s disease (AD) but its association with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) has not been explored.
To investigate the association between MeDi and MCI.
Design, Setting, Patients, Outcomes
In a multiethnic community study in New York, we used Cox proportional hazards to investigate the association between adherence to the MeDi (0 – 9 scale; higher scores higher adherence) and (1) incidence of MCI and (2) progression from MCI to AD. All models were adjusted for cohort, age, gender, ethnicity, education, APOE genotype, caloric intake, body mass index and time duration between baseline dietary assessment and baseline diagnosis.
There were 1393 cognitively normal participants, 275 of whom developed MCI during 4.5 (± 2.7, 0.9–16.4) years of follow-up. Compared to subjects in the lowest MeDi adherence tertile, subjects in the middle MeDi tertile had 17 % (HR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.62 – 1.12; p=0.24) less risk of developing MCI, while those at the highest MeDi adherence tertile had 28 % (HR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.52 – 1.00; p=0.05) less risk of developing MCI (trend HR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.72 – 1.00; p for trend= 0.05). There were 482 subjects with MCI, 106 of whom developed AD during 4.3 (± 2.7, 1.0 – 13.8) years of follow-up. Compared to subjects in the lowest MeDi adherence tertile, subjects in the middle MeDi adherence tertile had 45 % (HR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.34 – 0.90; p=0.01) less risk of developing AD, while those at the highest MeDi adherence tertile had 48 % (HR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.30 – 0.91; p=0.02) less risk of developing AD (trend HR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.53 – 0.95; p for trend= 0.02).
Higher adherence to the MeDi is associated with a trend for reduced risk for developing MCI and with reduced risk for MCI conversion to AD.