Food and Behaviour Research

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Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Diet Associated with Lower Rates of Depression

Cherian L, Wang Y, Holland T, Agarwal P, Aggarwal N, Morris MC (2018) AAN 70th ANNUAL MEETING ABSTRACT   

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Abstract:

Background: Depression is common in older adults and more prevalent in those with cognitive impairment, vascular risk factors, or a history of stroke. Non-pharmacologic strategies to reduce depression, such as diet, may be effective, however, few studies have investigated the relation.

Design/Methods: A total of 964 participants (25.21% men, mean age 81.32, SD 7.23) from an observational prospective cohort study were assessed annually for an average of 6.53 years of follow-up. Participants with missing or invalid baseline dietary evaluations or fewer than two depression assessments were excluded. Depressive symptoms were assessed with a 10-item version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale. Depression was defined as the presence of four or more depressive symptoms. Diet scores were computed using a validated food frequency questionnaire for the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, Mediterranean diet, Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet, prudent, and Western diets. Diet scores were modeled in tertiles. A generalized estimating equation (GEE) model was performed for the longitudinal analysis of depression as a binary outcome.

Results: Participants in the 2nd (β= -0.0786, SE= 0.0366, p= 0.0319) and 3rd (β= -0.-0.1109, SE= 0.0405, p= 0.0061) tertiles of the DASH diet had lower rates of depression over time when compared to those in first tertile, p-trend (β= -0.03, SE= 0.01, p= 0.004). Conversely, the Western diet was positively associated with depression over time (β= 0.0195, SE=0.0092, p = 0.0346).

Conclusions: Dietary modification may be effective in preventing late onset depression. A diet intervention trial may be needed to determine the optimal nutritional components for prevention of late onset depression and optimization of brain health.

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