Poster Topical Area: Aging and Chronic Disease
Poster Board Number: 82
Objectives: Diet quality has been observed to be associated with health outcomes and quality of life. However, the association between diet quality and mortality in older adults is under-studied. We thus conducted a prospective study to examine whether better diet quality, assessed by a validated dietary screening tool (DST), was associated with lower mortality in older adults.
Methods: Our study included 2,994 participants (1,266 men and 1,728 women) with a mean age of 81.4 years at baseline (ranging from 74 to 102 years old) from the Geisinger Rural Aging Study (GRAS) longitudinal cohort in rural Pennsylvania. In 2009, baseline descriptive information was obtained and the DST was administered via survey mailing. Death was identified using electronic medical record (EMR) and the social security death index data. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) across three diet quality categories were calculated by using cox proportional hazards models after adjusting for potential confounders, including age, sex, body mass index (BMI), source of information, smoking status, and diabetes, coronary artery disease, hypertension, obstructive sleep apnea, depression, osteoarthritis, and liver disease.
Results: After 8 years of follow-up (2009-2017), 1,053 deaths were documented. Higher diet quality was associated with lower mortality risk (p-trend=0.05). Participants with lowest diet quality (defined as DST scores < 60) had significantly increased risk of mortality compared with those with highest diet quality (defined as DST scores > 75) after adjusting for potential risk factors (adjusted HR=1.30; 95% CI: 1.03-1.63).
Conclusion: Diet quality assessed by DST is significantly associated with risk of mortality in older adults in our prospective cohort. Our results indicate that nutrition may play an important role in healthy aging and more studies are needed to develop appropriate dietary recommendations for older population.
Department of Nutritional Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University
State College, Pennsylvania