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J Am Diet Assoc. 2007 Dec;107(12):2091-9.

Poor nutrient intakes during 1-year follow-up with community-dwelling older adults with early-stage Alzheimer dementia compared to cognitively intact matched controls.

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Départment de Nutrition, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada.



Decreased food intakes, eating behavior disturbances, and loss of body weight are particularly significant problems among those with Alzheimer dementia. To follow the natural evolution of dietary and nutrition status among elderly community-dwelling adults with Alzheimer dementia.


With their caregivers, 36 community-dwelling patients in early stages of Alzheimer dementia, aged > or =65 years, were recruited from memory clinics in Montréal, age-matched to cognitively intact community-based controls (n=58), and interviewed at four to five time points (T0 to T4) across an 18-month period. Current diet and supplement use were assessed monthly by two food records and/or 24-hour diet recalls (666 records/recalls from patients and 1,678 records/recalls from controls), using adapted data collection techniques among patients, and analyzed using CANDAT with the 2001b Canadian Nutrient File.


Nutrient intakes from diet and supplements were higher in control subjects, with significant differences in energy, the macronutrients, calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin K, vitamin A, and dietary fiber as well as n-3 and n-6 fatty acids. Repeated measures analysis of variance confirmed these observations among balanced groups of participants aged > or =70 years with full nutrient data during 12 months' follow-up.


Dietary intakes by persons with Alzheimer dementia are poor compared to cognitively intact age-matched controls. Suboptimal diet is evident early in the onset of the disease. This vulnerable population would benefit from systematic dietary assessment and intervention to prevent further deterioration in food consumption and increased nutritional risk.

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