This study found that a higher intake of red meat in midlife was associated with increased likelihood of cognitive impairment in later life.

This study found that a higher intake of red meat in midlife was associated with increased likelihood of cognitive impairment in later life.

PMID: 

Eur J Nutr. 2019 Jun 21. Epub 2019 Jun 21. PMID: 31227861

Abstract Title: 

Meat consumption in midlife and risk of cognitive impairment in old age: the Singapore Chinese Health Study.

Abstract: 

PURPOSE: Epidemiological studies directly investigating the association between different types of meat intake and cognitive impairment are limited. We, therefore, examined this association in the Singapore Chinese Health Study.METHODS: In total, 16,948 participants were included in analysis. Diet was measured by a 165-item semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaire at baseline (1993-1998) when participants were 45-74 years. Cognitive impairment was defined using a Singapore modified version of Mini-Mental State Examination during follow-up three visits (2014-2016) when participants were 61-96 years. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI).RESULTS: Cognitive impairment was present in 2443 (14.4%) participants. Compared to the lowest quartile, the highest quartile of red meat intake was associated with increased risk of cognitive impairment (OR 1.16, 95% CI 1.01-1.32, P for trend = 0.009), while the corresponding value for poultry intake was 0.89 (95% CI 0.78-1.02, P for trend = 0.10). Higher fresh fish/shellfish was associated with a lower risk of cognitive impairment (OR 0.88, 95% CI 0.77-1.00, P for trend = 0.03), while preserved fish/shellfish intake was associated with a higher risk (OR 1.19, 95% CI 1.04-1.36, P for trend = 0.01).CONCLUSION: This study found that a higher intake of red meat in midlife was associated with increased likelihood of cognitive impairment in later life, while substitution of red meat intake with poultry or fresh fish/shellfish was associated with reduced risk.

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