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Neurobiol Aging. 2005 Jul;26(7):987-94. Epub 2004 Nov 5.

Vitamin E levels, cognitive impairment and dementia in older persons: the InCHIANTI study.

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Institute of Gerontology and Geriatrics, University of Perugia Medical School, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, via Brunamonti, Policlinico Monteluce, Padiglione E, Perugia 06122, Italy.


There is conflicting evidence that antioxidants contribute to maintaining cognitive function in elderly subjects. We investigated whether vitamin E plasma levels are related to the presence of dementia and cognitive impairment in a population-based cohort study conducted in Italy. A total of 1033 participants aged at least 65 years received clinical and neuropsychological examinations, donated blood for vitamin E analysis and had their diets assessed. Participants with plasma vitamin E levels in the bottom tertile had a significantly higher probability of being demented (OR 2.6, 95% CI 1.0-7.1) and also of suffering from cognitive impairment (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.2-4.2) compared to those in the highest vitamin E tertile after adjustment for age, gender, education, lipid levels, energy intake, vitamin E intake, and smoking. This study supports the notion that higher vitamin E plasma levels might provide significant protection against cognitive impairment and dementia in elderly subjects.

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