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Open Access Research article

Is there an association between mild cognitive impairment and dietary pattern in chinese elderly? Results from a cross-sectional population study

Ziqi Wang1, Birong Dong1*, Guo Zeng2, Jun Li1, Wenlei Wang2, Binyou Wang1 and Qiyuan Yuan1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Geriatrics West China Hospital, West China School of Medicine, Sichuan University, China

2 Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, West China School of Publish Health, Sichuan University, China

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:595  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-595

Published: 8 October 2010



Diet has an impact on cognitive function in most prior studies but its association with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) in Chinese nonagenarians and centenarians has not been explored.


870 elder dujiangyan residents aged 90 years or more in 2005 census were investigated at community halls or at home. They underwent the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) for assessment of cognitive function and replied to our questionnaire comprised of 12 food items and other risk factors. MCI was defined by two steps: first, subjects with post-stroke disease, Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease and MMSE< 18 were excluded; and then subjects were categorized as MCI (MMSE scores between 19 and 24) and normal (MMSE scores between 25 and 30). Logistic regression models were used to analyze the association between diet and the prevalence of MCI. The model was adjusted for gender, ages, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, body mass index, fasting plasma glucose, total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, smoking habits, alcohol and tea consumption, educational levels and exercise in baseline dietary assessment.


364 elderly finally included, 108 (38.71%) men and 171 (61.29%) women of whom were classified as MCI. A significant correlation between MCI and normal in legume was observed (OR, 0.84; 95%CI, 0.72-0.97), and also in animal oil (any oil that obtained from animal substances) (OR, 0.93; 95%CI, 0.88-0.98). There was no statistical difference of other food items between normal and MCI.


Among Chinese nonagenarians and centenarians, we found there were significant associations between inadequate intake of legume and animal oil and the prevalence of MCI. No significant correlation between other food items and the prevalence of MCI were demonstrated in this study.