Background: The prevalence of obesity-related adverse health outcomes is increasing among older adults. Because it is thought that nutrition plays an important role in successful aging, there has been considerable interest in the association between dietary patterns of older adults and obesity-related health outcomes. Objective: This study examined the association between dietary patterns and mortality and prevalence of obesity-related health outcomes, namely cardiovascular disease (CVD), type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and metabolic syndrome (MetSyn), over a 5-year follow-up period in adults aged 75 years or greater. Design: A longitudinal observational study with cross-sectional dietary assessment. Setting: Rural Central Pennsylvania. Participants: Community-dwelling older adults (N = 449; 76.5 years old; 57% female). Measurements: Multiple, unannounced, 24-hour dietary recalls were used to collect dietary intake. Cluster analysis was used to derive dietary patterns. Prevalence of CVD, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and MetSyn was extracted from outpatient electronic medical records. Logistic regression was used to examine the associations between dietary patterns and health outcomes and mortality. Results: 'Sweets and Dairy', 'Health-Conscious' and 'Western' dietary patterns were identified. Compared to the 'Health-Conscious' pattern, those in the 'Sweets and Dairy' pattern had increased odds of hypertension over the follow-up period; adjusted odds ratio (95% CI) was 2.18 (1.11-4.30). No significant associations were found for CVD, diabetes mellitus, MetSyn or mortality with dietary patterns. Conclusions: These findings support the potential value of healthy dietary patterns in the management of hypertension in older adults. We did not observe any other strong associations between dietary patterns and health outcomes or mortality in persons ≥ 75 years of age; thus failing to support the use of overly restrictive diet prescriptions for older persons, especially where food intake may be inadequate.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- Geriatrics and Gerontology