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Arch Neurol. 2002 Jul;59(7):1125-32.

Vitamin E and cognitive decline in older persons.

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Department of Preventive medicine, Rush Institute for Healthy Aging, Rush-Presbyterian-St Luke's Medical Center, 1645 W Jackson, Suite 675, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.



Previous studies raise the possibility that antioxidants protect against neurodegenerative diseases.


To examine whether intake of antioxidant nutrients, including vitamin E, vitamin C, and carotene, is associated with reduced cognitive decline with age.


Longitudinal population-based study conducted from September 17, 1993, to November 20, 2000, with an average follow-up of 3.2 years.


The patients were 2889 community residents, aged 65 to 102 years, who completed a food frequency questionnaire, on average 18 months after baseline.


Cognitive change as measured by 4 tests (the East Boston Memory Test, which tests immediate and delayed recall; the Mini-Mental State Examination; and the Symbol Digit Modalities Test) at baseline and 3 years for all participants, and at 6 months for 288 randomly selected participants.


We used random-effects models to estimate nutrient effects on individual change in the average score of the 4 cognitive tests. The cognitive score declined on average by 5.0 x 10(-2) standardized units per year. There was a 36% reduction in the rate of decline among persons in the highest quintile of total vitamin E intake (-4.3 x 10(-2) standardized units per year) compared with those in the lowest quintile (-6.7 x 10(-2) standardized units per year) (P =.05), in a model adjusted for age, race, sex, educational level, current smoking, alcohol consumption, total calorie (energy) intake, and total intakes of vitamin C, carotene, and vitamin A. We also observed a reduced decline with higher vitamin E intake from foods (P =.03 for trend). There was little evidence of association with vitamin C or carotene intake.


Vitamin E intake, from foods or supplements, is associated with less cognitive decline with age.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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