Validity of estimated dietary eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid intakes determined by interviewer-administered food frequency questionnaire among older adults with mild-to-moderate cognitive impairment or dementia

Lisa N. Arsenault, Nirupa Matthan, Tammy M. Scott, Gerard Dallal, Alice H. Lichtenstein, Marshal F. Folstein, Irwin Rosenberg, Katherine L. Tucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Epidemiologic research is increasingly being focused on elderly persons, many of whom exhibit mild-to-moderate cognitive impairment. This presents a challenge for collection and interpretation of self-reported dietary data. There are few reports on the impact of cognitive function and dementia on the validity of self-reported dietary intakes. Using plasma phospholipid fatty acid profiles as a biomarker of intake, the authors assessed the validity of an interviewer-administered food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) to estimate intakes of 2 marine-based omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), among 273 community-dwelling adults aged ≥60 years participating in the Nutrition, Aging, and Memory in Elders Study (Boston, Massachusetts, 2002-2008). Age- and energy-adjusted Pearson correlation coefficients for correlations between dietary intakes and plasma phospholipids were consistent across categories of high and low cognitive function (r =0.48), based on Mini-Mental State Examination score, and were similar across clinically diagnosed categories of normal functioning (r =0.49), mild cognitive impairment (r =0.45), and dementia (r =0.52). The FFQ ranked 78% of subjects to within 1 quartile of their plasma phospholipid EPA + DHA quartile. This frequency was consistently high across all cognitive categories. With interviewer administration, this FFQ seems to be a valid method of assessing dietary EPA + DHA intake in older adults with mild-to-moderate cognitive impairment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-103
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Volume170
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aged
  • Aged 80 and over
  • Dementia
  • Epidemiologic methods
  • Fatty acids
  • Mental recall
  • Nutrition assessment
  • Omega-3
  • Questionnaires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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