Low levels of a urinary biomarker of dietary polyphenol are associated with substantial cognitive decline over a 3-year period in older adults: The invecchiare in chianti study

Montserrat Rabassa, Antonio Cherubini, Raul Zamora-Ros, Mireia Urpi-Sarda, Stefania Bandinelli, Luigi Ferrucci, Cristina Andres-Lacueva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives To investigate the association between total urinary polyphenols (TUPs) and total dietary polyphenols (TDPs) and cognitive decline in an older population. Design The Invecchiare in Chianti (InCHIANTI) study, a cohort study with 3 years of follow-up. Setting Tuscany, Italy. Participants Individuals without dementia aged 65 and older (N = 652). Measurements TUP and TDP concentrations were analyzed at baseline using the Folin-Ciocalteu assay and a validated food frequency questionnaire, respectively. Cognition was assessed using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Trail-Making Test (TMT) at baseline and after 3 years of follow-up. Substantial cognitive decline was defined as a reduction in MMSE score of three or more points and an increase of at least 29 seconds on the TMT Part A (TMT-A) and 68 seconds on the TMT Part B (TMT-B) (the worst 10% of the distribution of decline) or as test discontinued because of multiple mistakes on the TMT A and B at follow-up. Results Higher TUP levels were associated with lower risk of substantial cognitive decline on the MMSE (odds ratio (OR) comparing extreme tertiles = 0.53, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.34-0.85, P-trend =.008) and on the TMT-A (OR = 0.52, 95% CI = 0.28-0.96, P-trend =.03), but not on TMT-B in a logistic regression model that adjusted for baseline cognitive score and potential confounding factors. TDP did not affect the development of substantial cognitive decline in either test. Conclusion High concentrations of polyphenols, a nutritional biomarker of polyphenol intake, were associated with lower risk of substantial cognitive decline in an older population studied over a 3-year period, suggesting a protective effect against cognitive impairment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)938-946
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2015
Externally publishedYes



  • biomarker
  • cognitive decline
  • dietary polyphenols
  • epidemiology
  • urinary polyphenols

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Medicine(all)

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