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Associations between the dietary inflammatory index, brain volume, small vessel disease, and global cognitive function


Zabetian-Targhi, F and Srikanth, VK and Smith, KJ and Oddy, W and Beare, R and Moran, C and Wang, W and Shivappa, N and Hebert, JR and Breslin, M and van Weel, JM and Callisaya, M, Associations between the dietary inflammatory index, brain volume, small vessel disease, and global cognitive function, Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics ISSN 2212-2672 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.jand.2020.11.004


Background: An inflammatory diet is related to poorer cognition, but the underlying brain pathways are unknown.

Objective: The aim of this study was to examine associations between the Energy-Adjusted Dietary Inflammatory Index (E-DII) and brain volume, small vessel disease, and cognition in people with and without type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).

Design: This is a secondary cross-sectional analysis of data from the Cognition and Diabetes in Older Tasmanians study.

Participants/settings: This study included 641 participants (n = 326 with T2DM) enrolled between 2005 and 2011 from Tasmania, Australia.

Main outcome measures: The E-DII was computed from the 80-item Dietary Questionnaire for Epidemiological Studies, version 2. Brain volumes (gray matter, white matter, and white matter hyperintensities), infarcts, and microbleeds were obtained from magnetic resonance imaging. Global cognition was derived from a comprehensive battery of neuropsychological tests.

Statistical analysis: Logistic and linear regressions were performed to examine associations between E-DII and brain measures and a global cognitive score, adjusting for demographics, energy, T2DM, mood, ambulatory activity, and cardiovascular risk factors. An E-DII T2DM interaction term was tested in each model.

Results: The mean (standard deviation) age of participants was 69.8 (7.4) years. There were no associations between the E-DII and any of the brain structural measures or global cognitive function in fully adjusted models. There was a modification effect for T2DM on the association between E-DII and gray matter volume (T2DM: β = 1.38, 95% CI -3.03 to 5.79; without T2DM: β = -4.34, 95% CI, -8.52 to -0.16), but not with any of the other outcome measures.

Conclusions: In this cross-sectional study, E-DII was not associated with brain structure or global cognition. In 1 of the 7 outcomes, a significant modification effect for T2DM was found for the associations between E-DII and gray matter. Future prospective studies are needed to clarify the associations between diet-related inflammation and brain health.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:dietary inflammatory index, brain, MRI, cognition, type 2 diabetes mellitus, dementia
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Clinical sciences
Research Field:Geriatrics and gerontology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Health related to ageing
UTAS Author:Zabetian-Targhi, F (Ms Fateme Zabetiantarghi)
UTAS Author:Srikanth, VK (Dr Velandai Srikanth)
UTAS Author:Smith, KJ (Dr Kylie Smith)
UTAS Author:Oddy, W (Professor Wendy Oddy)
UTAS Author:Moran, C (Dr Chris Moran)
UTAS Author:Wang, W (Dr Wei Wang)
UTAS Author:Breslin, M (Dr Monique Breslin)
UTAS Author:Callisaya, M (Dr Michele Callisaya)
ID Code:143332
Year Published:2020
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2021-03-11
Last Modified:2021-05-25

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