Mediterranean diet and white matter hyperintensity volume in the Northern Manhattan Study.
ABSTRACT To examine the association between a Mediterranean-style diet (MeDi) and brain magnetic resonance imaging white matter hyperintensity volume (WMHV).
A cross-sectional analysis within a longitudinal population-based cohort study. A semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire was administered, and a score (range, 0-9) was calculated to reflect increasing similarity to the MeDi pattern.
The Northern Manhattan Study.
A total of 1091 participants, of whom 966 had dietary information (mean age, 72 years; 59.3% women, 64.6% Hispanic, 15.6% white, and 17.5% black).
The WMHV was measured by quantitative brain magnetic resonance imaging. Linear regression models were constructed to examine the association between the MeDi score and the log-transformed WMHV as a proportion of total cranial volume, controlling for sociodemographic and vascular risk factors.
On the MeDi scale, 11.6% scored 0 to 2, 15.8% scored 3, 23.0% scored 4, 23.5% scored 5, and 26.1% scored 6 to 9. Each 1-point increase in MeDi score was associated with a lower log WMHV (β = -.04, P = .01). The only MeDi score component that was an independent predictor of WMHV was the ratio of monounsaturated to saturated fat (β = -.20, P = .001).
A MeDi was associated with a lower WMHV burden, a marker of small vessel damage in the brain. However, white matter hyperintensities are etiologically heterogenous and can include neurodegeneration. Replication by other population-based studies is needed.
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ABSTRACT: Adherence to a Mediterranean diet may improve longevity, but relevant data are limited. We conducted a population-based, prospective investigation involving 22,043 adults in Greece who completed an extensive, validated, food-frequency questionnaire at base line. Adherence to the traditional Mediterranean diet was assessed by a 10-point Mediterranean-diet scale that incorporated the salient characteristics of this diet (range of scores, 0 to 9, with higher scores indicating greater adherence). We used proportional-hazards regression to assess the relation between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and total mortality, as well as mortality due to coronary heart disease and mortality due to cancer, with adjustment for age, sex, body-mass index, physical-activity level, and other potential confounders. During a median of 44 months of follow-up, there were 275 deaths. A higher degree of adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduction in total mortality (adjusted hazard ratio for death associated with a two-point increment in the Mediterranean-diet score, 0.75 [95 percent confidence interval, 0.64 to 0.87]). An inverse association with greater adherence to this diet was evident for both death due to coronary heart disease (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.67 [95 percent confidence interval, 0.47 to 0.94]) and death due to cancer (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.76 [95 percent confidence interval, 0.59 to 0.98]). Associations between individual food groups contributing to the Mediterranean-diet score and total mortality were generally not significant. Greater adherence to the traditional Mediterranean diet is associated with a significant reduction in total mortality.New England Journal of Medicine 07/2003; 348(26):2599-608. · 53.30 Impact Factor
Article: Alcohol consumption and subclinical findings on magnetic resonance imaging of the brain in older adults: the cardiovascular health study.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Subclinical findings on MRI of the brain are associated with poorer cognitive and neurological function among older adults. We sought to determine how alcohol consumption is related to these findings. As part of the Cardiovascular Health Study, 3660 adults aged 65 years and older underwent MRI of the brain from 1992 to 1994. We excluded 284 participants with a confirmed history of cerebrovascular disease. We assessed self-reported intake of beer, wine, and liquor at the annual clinic visit closest to the date of the MRI and grouped participants into 6 categories: abstainers, former drinkers, <1 drink weekly, 1 to <7 drinks weekly, 7 to <15 drinks weekly, and >/=15 drinks weekly. Neuroradiologists assessed white matter grade, infarcts, ventricular size, and sulcal size in a standardized and blinded manner. We used multivariate regression to control for sociodemographic and clinical characteristics. We found a U-shaped relationship between alcohol consumption and white matter abnormalities. Compared with abstainers, individuals consuming 1 to <7 drinks had an OR of 0.68, and those consuming >/=15 drinks weekly had an OR of 0.95 (p for quadratic term=0.01). Heavier alcohol consumption was associated with a lower prevalence of infarcts (OR for >/=15 drinks weekly relative to abstainers 0.59; P for trend=0.004), but larger ventricular size (OR for >/=15 drinks weekly relative to abstainers 1.32; P for trend=0.006) and sulcal size (OR for >/=15 drinks weekly relative to abstainers 1.53; P for trend=0.007). Moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a lower prevalence of white matter abnormalities and infarcts, thought to be of vascular origin, but with a dose-dependent higher prevalence of brain atrophy on MRI among older adults. The extent to which these competing associations influence overall brain function will require further study.Stroke 09/2001; 32(9):1939-46. · 5.73 Impact Factor