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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2009 Apr;6(4):1335-40. doi: 10.3390/ijerph6041335. Epub 2009 Apr 1.

Dietary patterns associated with Alzheimer's disease: population based study.

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University Memory and Cognition Center, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA.


Recently dietary pattern analysis has emerged as a way for examining diet-disease relations in Alzheimer's disease. In contrast with the conventional approach, which focuses on a single nutrient or a few nutrients or foods, this method considers overall eating patterns. We examined the dietary patterns defined by factor analysis using data collected with a food-frequency questionnaire in people with Alzheimer's disease (AD) as compared to healthy controls. The diet data were obtained during population based study of the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease in a population in Poland. Stratified sampling and random selection strategies were combined to obtain a representative population for screening (age group > 55). From the population screened three times, 71 people were diagnosed with Alzheimer's according to DSM-IV, and were recruited for further diet risk factors assessment. A group of people with Alzheimer disease (n = 71; F/M 42/29) and the same number of healthy, age and gender matched control were recruited for the study. Patients and their caregivers as well as controls were presented with a food frequency questionnaire based on the 12 food groups. Factor analysis (principal component) was used to derive food patterns. The analysis was conducted using the factor procedure. The factors were rotated by an orthogonal transformation (Varimax rotation) to achieve simpler structure with greater interpretability. Using factor analysis, we identified major eating patterns, one for Alzheimer's patients and a different one for control group. The AD dietary pattern, FACTOR AD was characterized by a high intake of meat, butter, high-fat dairy products, eggs, and refined sugar, whereas the other pattern, (FACTOR C) was characterized by a high intake of grains and vegetables. These data indicate the existence of dietary patterns defined by factor analysis with data from a food frequency questionnaire, characteristic for Alzheimer's disease in a Polish population.


Alzheimer’s disease; Dietary pattern; factor analysis

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