Send to

Choose Destination
J Nutr Health Aging. 2007 Jan-Feb;11(1):49-54.

Dietary factors and cognitive impairment in community-dwelling elderly.

Author information

Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, University of Alabama at BBirmingham, USA.



Diet may play a role in cognitive impairment.


To examine the relationship between dietary factors and cognitive impairment.


All subjects (n=1056) were participants in the State-wide Survey of Alabama's Elderly (1986-87). Basic demographic information, Mental Status Questionnaire (MSQ) score, and dietary intake frequency of meat (pork, beef, lamb), fish, chicken or turkey, vegetables, fruit, milk, cheese, desserts, bread or cereal, and dried beans and peas were ascertained during an inhome interview.


Most participants were female (67%) and white (73%) with a mean age of 69 years (SD 8.9, min 55 max 94) and mean years of education of 10.7 (SD 3.8, min 1 max 18). Intake of cheese was found to be inversely associated with cognitive impairment in a simple logistic regression analysis, (OR = 0.59; 95% CI: 0.42, 0.84; p=0.003) and in a multiple logistic regression analysis (OR=0.68; 95% CI: 0.47, 0.99; p=0.04), after adjusting for basic socio-demographic factors and for other dietary factors. Increased frequency of cheese intake was associated with decreased cognitive impairment (p=0.0034). In the multiple logistic regression analysis bread or cereal (OR= 0.37, 95% CI: 0.14, 0.97; p=0.044) was inversely associated with, and dessert intake (OR= 1.70, 95% CI: 1.12, 2.59; p=0.013) positively associated with cognitive impairment.


Dietary intake of cheese is associated with a lower prevalence of cognitive impairment, with a dose-response effect, while intake of dessert is associated with a higher prevalence of cognitive impairment. Possible reasons for a potential protective effect of cheese ingestion are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center