Abstract P075: Five Dietary Patterns Emerge in the REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) Study
Introduction: Examining diet as a whole using dietary patterns methods rather than focusing on single food group or nutrient exposures may be more informative when studying associations of diet and disease. Several large cohorts have used factor analysis to empirically derive dietary patterns but few have employed a cohort as geographically and racially diverse as the REGARDS study.
Methods: The REGARDS study is a cohort of 30,239 Black and White adults age 45 and older, half of whom reside in the Southeastern US (also known as the stroke belt); the remainder reside elsewhere in the continental US. The present analysis included 21,636 participants who completed the Block 98 food frequency questionnaire at baseline. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) with varimax rotation was used on a split sample to determine dietary patterns based on 56 food groups. Race, sex, and region-specific solutions were evaluated for congruence alongside scree plots, eigenvalues, and interpretability. Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) was utilized on the second half of the sample for validation of the PCA findings.
Results: Sub-group analyses showed acceptable congruence and interpretability, thus we performed PCA on the entire sample in the final solution. Five dietary patterns emerged: the “traditional” pattern was characterized by mixed dishes; the “healthy” pattern by fruits and vegetables; the “sweets” pattern by sweet snacks and desserts; the “Southern” pattern by fried food, organ meat, and sweetened beverages; and the “alcohol” pattern by beer, wine, liquor, and salads. There were marked differences in factor score means across demographic and socioeconomic groups. For example, Blacks were much more likely than Whites to have a Southern diet.
Discussion: Clear and meaningful dietary patterns emerged in this large cohort of Black and White Americans. Variability in dietary intake across demographic factors emphasizes the need to explore how these factors contribute to differential susceptibility to stroke and other chronic diseases.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.