Dietary Diversity Changes and Cognitive Frailty in Chinese Older Adults: A Prospective Community-Based Cohort Study

Wen Fang Zhong, Wei Qi Song, Xiao Meng Wang, Zhi Hao Li, Dong Shen, Dan Liu, Pei Dong Zhang, Qiao Qiao Shen, Fen Liang, Ying Nan, Jia Xuan Xiang, Zi Ting Chen, Chuan Li, Shi Tian Li, Xiao Gang Lv, Xiu Rong Lin, Yue Bin Lv, Xiang Gao, Virginia Byers Kraus, Xiao Ming ShiChen Mao

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Evidence for the effects of dietary diversity changes and cognitive frailty (CF) in the older adults is not clear. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between dietary diversity changes and CF in older adults Chinese. A total of 14,382 participants (mean age: 82.3 years) were enrolled. Dietary diversity scores (DDSs) were collected and calculated using a food frequency questionnaire. DDS changes between baseline and first follow-up were categorized into nine patterns. The associations between DDS changes and the incidence of CF were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models. During an 80,860 person-year follow-up, 3023 CF cases were identified. Groups with a decrease in DDS had increased CF risk compared with the high-to-high DDS group, with adjusted hazard ratios (HRs; 95% confidence intervals (Cis)) of 1.30 (1.06, 1.59), 2.04 (1.51, 2.74), and 1.81 (1.47, 2.22) for high-to-medium, high-to-low, and medium-to-low groups, respectively. Lower overall DDS groups were associated with greater CF risks, with HRs (95% CIs) of 1.49 (1.19, 1.86) for the low-to-medium group and 1.96 (1.53, 2.52) for the low-to-low group. Compared with the high-to-high group, significant associations with CF were found in other DDS change groups; HRs ranged from 1.38 to 3.12 for the plant-based DDS group and from 1.24 to 1.32 for the animal-based DDS group. Additionally, extreme and moderate declines in overall DDS increased CF risk compared with stable DDS, with HRs (95% CIs) of 1.67 (1.50, 1.86) and 1.13 (1.03, 1.24), respectively. In conclusion, among older adults, a declining or persistently low DDS and a moderately or extremely declining DDS were linked to higher incident CF. Plant-based DDS changes correlated more strongly with CF than animal-based DDS changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3784
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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