Globally, cognitive deficit and dementia are among the major age-related chronic disorders. Daily consumption of fruit and vegetables has been associated with a diminished risk of cognitive deficit later in life. We examined whether the WHO recommendations of a daily intake of five servings of fruit and vegetables (≥400 gm) were associated with cognition in a low-income elderly population in the city of São Paulo. We explored the influence of socio-demographic characteristics, lifestyle factors and health measures on this association.
Methods We performed a cross-sectional analyses with 1849 participants ≥65 years old, free of dementia, at the baseline of the population-based prospective SPAH study. Cognition function was assessed using the Community Screening Instrument for Dementia (CSI-D), (scored as 0–30). Few cases with scores =0 were excluded. Cognitive deficit was defined as scores ≤1.5 SDs of the mean population (CSI-D scores ≤20.93). Fruit and vegetable intake was estimated using a Food Frequency Questionnaire. The association between cognition and fruit and vegetable intake was investigated using multiple linear and logistic regression models.
Results Multivariate analyses showed that a higher intake of fruit and vegetables was associated with higher cognitive scores. Individuals who consumed ≥400 g/day presented a significant 42% lower risk of cognitive deficit. Nevertheless, adjusting for education significantly attenuated this association.
Conclusion A high fruit and vegetable intake may help preserve cognitive function in the elderly, but education is a powerful confounder and may play an important role, especially in a low-income population.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.