Abstract 1582: Vegetable and Fruit Consumption and Cognitive Function in Relation to Heart Disease and All-Cause Mortality Among Older Adults: Findings From the National Second Longitudinal Study of Aging
OBJECTIVE: Studies with a representative sample of older adults on vegetable and fruit consumption and cognitive function in relation to mortality are limited. This study assessed the hypothesis that increased vegetable and/or fruit intake and better cognitive function are associated with decreased risks of heart disease and all-cause mortality using data from the national second Longitudinal Study of Aging (LSOA II).
METHODS: Data (n=4,879, M: 1,778, F: 3,101) of the LSOA II, the largest national study of community-dwelling adults aged 70 years or older at the time of participation (1994 –1996) and with diet survey and global cognitive function (GCF) measures was analyzed prospectively to examine risk of mortality at the end of the follow-up of December 2002. Statistical analysis techniques for the complex study design of the LSOA II were used.
RESULTS: Within an average 7-year follow-up, 1,286 participants died (26.36%). Males had a significantly higher mortality rate than females (30% vs. 24%, p<0.001). Increased servings of vegetables and fruits were significantly associated with decreased prevalence rates of cognitive impairment (defined as those in the first quarter of GCF score) (p<0.001). After adjustment for age, gender, race/ethnicity and self-rated health, Cox regression analysis indicated that subjects with 3 or more servings of vegetables per day had a 30% lower risk of death from heart disease [hazard ratio, HR (95%CI): 0.70 (0.54 – 0.92)], and a 15% lower risk of death from all-cause [0.85 (0.73– 0.98)] than those with less than 3 servings of vegetables per day (p<0.001). Subjects with GCF score less than 12 (those in the first quarter) had a 55% higher risk of death from heart disease [1.45 (1.16 –1.81)], and a 51% higher from all-cause mortality [1.49 (1.31–1.70)] than those with GCF score >=12 (p<0.001). Increased fruit intake was inversely associated with risk of mortality in partially-adjusted analyses, but this association became non-significant after adjustment for including vegetable intake and GCF score (p>0.05).
CONCLUSION: The study highlights that an increase in vegetable intake and better cognitive function have significant effects on the reduction of death from heart disease and all-cause mortality in older adults.