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J Psychiatr Res. 2009 May;43(8):763-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2008.09.003. Epub 2008 Oct 25.

Dietary lipids and geriatric depression scale score among elders: the EPIC-Greece cohort.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Eginition Hospital, University of Athens Medical School, Athens, Greece.


In a prospective epidemiological investigation aiming to identify dietary lipids potentially associated with affective state and depression, 610 healthy men and women aged 60 years or older, participating in the EPIC-Greece cohort and residing in the Attika region had dietary, sociodemographic, anthropometric, medical and lifestyle variables ascertained at enrollment. Six to 13 years later, affective state was evaluated through the 15-point geriatric depression scale (GDS) score along with cognitive function and medical variables. In multivariate linear regression analysis, while adjusting for potential confounders, GDS score was negatively associated with dietary intake of monounsaturated lipids (MUFA) and their main source, olive oil, and positively associated with intake of polyunsaturated lipids (PUFA) and one of their principal sources, seed oils. Intake of calories, total lipids, fish and seafood or saturated lipids did not exhibit significant association with GDS. Potential non-linearities were assessed by quantile multivariate regression analysis: The median GDS score was positively associated with PUFA and seed oils intake, while other lipid groups showed no appreciable associations. The 90th percentile of the GDS score (towards the high end) exhibited significant negative associations with MUFA and olive oil, weaker positive associations with PUFA and seed oils and no appreciable association with other lipid group dietary intakes. We conclude that among Attika elders, lower intake of seed oils and higher intake of olive oil prospectively predict a healthier affective state. Olive oil intake, in particular, predicts a lower chance of scoring in the highest part of the GDS.

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