Association of dietary patterns with cognitive function and cognitive decline in Sydney Memory and Ageing Study: a longitudinal analysis

Year Published: 2021


J Acad Nutr Diet


Xi Chen, Zhixin Liu, Perminder S Sachdev, Nicole A Kochan, Fiona O'Leary, Henry Brodaty


The relationship of dietary patterns to cognitive health in older adults has attracted much research attention. However, results from existing studies are inconclusive. This analysis was conducted as part of the longitudinal Sydney Memory and Ageing study with six years follow up. Mediterranean diet and Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet scores were generated based on dietary intake for each individual, assessed by the Dietary Questionnaire for Epidemiological Studies Version 2.

Key Findings

Key Findings: No associations of Mediterranean or DASH dietary scores with overall cognition and cognitive decline over six years were found. Higher intake of legumes and nuts was related to better overall performance in global cognition (β=0.091; 95% CI:0.035, 0.146; P=0.001) and to multiple cognitive domains, and to less decline in global cognition (β=-0.016; 95% CI: -0.032, -0.001; P=0.032). Study findings suggest that greater consumption of legumes and nuts maybe important to slow cognitive decline with age.