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Exp Gerontol. 2015 Apr;64:8-16. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2015.01.047. Epub 2015 Jan 29.

Associations of diet quality with health-related quality of life in older Australian men and women.

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Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, Deakin University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Electronic address:
Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, Deakin University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


This study investigated associations between diet quality measures and quality of life two years later. Adults 55-65 years participating in the Wellbeing, Eating and Exercise for a Long Life (WELL) study in Victoria, Australia (n = 1150 men and n = 1307 women) completed a postal survey including a 111-item food frequency questionnaire in 2010. Diet quality in 2010 was assessed via the dietary guideline index (DGI), recommended food score (RFS) and Mediterranean diet score (MDS). The RAND 36-item survey assessed health-related quality of life in 2012. Associations were assessed using logistic regression adjusted for covariates. In men, DGI and RFS were associated with better reported energy (OR = 1.79, CI: 1.25, 2.55 and OR = 1.56, CI: 1.11, 2.19 respectively), and DGI was additionally associated with better general health (OR = 1.54, 95% CI: 1.08, 2.20), and overall mental component summary scale (OR = 1.51, CI: 1.07, 2.15) in the fully adjusted model. In women, associations between two indices of diet quality (DGI, RFS) physical function (OR = 1.66, CI: 1.19, 2.31 and OR = 1.70, CI: 1.21, 2.37 respectively) and general health (OR = 1.83, CI: 1.32, 2.54 and OR = 1.54, CI: 1.11, 2.14 respectively) were observed. DGI was also associated with overall physical component summary score (OR = 1.56, CI: 1.12, 2.17). Additional associations between emotional wellbeing and DGI (OR = 1.40, CI: 1.01, 1.93) and RFS (OR = 1.44, CI: 1.04, 1.99), and MDS and energy (OR = 1.53, CI: 1.11, 2.10) were observed in the fully adjusted model, in women only. Older adults with better quality diets report better health-related quality of life, with additional associations with emotional wellbeing observed in women.


Ageing; Diet; Health status; Longitudinal survey; Mental health; Nutrition status; Quality of life

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