Dr. Bray Links

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Association of Changes in Diet Quality with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality — NEJM

Some epidemiologic studies of nutrition focus on dietary patterns rather than single nutrients or foods to evaluate the association between diet and health outcomes.1 Accumulated evidence supports an association between healthy dietary patterns and a decreased risk of death.2-11 Results from recent studies suggest that improved diet quality, as assessed by means of the Alternate Healthy Eating Index–2010 score,12 the Alternate Mediterranean Diet score,10,13 and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet score,14 was associated with reductions of 8% to 22% in the risk of death from any cause15,16 and reductions of 19% to 28% in the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and 11% to 23% in the risk of death from cancer.2-4,17

Given such consistent evidence, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended the Alternate Healthy Eating Index, the Alternate Mediterranean Diet, and DASH as practical, understandable, and actionable diet plans for the public.18 Such guidelines are important in the United States and globally because unhealthy diets have been ranked as a major factor contributing to death and health complications.19 Evaluation of changes in diet quality over time in relation to the subsequent risk of death would be important. Here, we evaluated the association between 12-year changes (from 1986 through 1998) in the three diet-quality scores noted above and the subsequent risk of total and cause-specific death from 1998 through 2010 among participants in the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. We also examined short-term changes (baseline to 8-year follow-up, 1986–1994) and long-term changes (baseline to 16-year follow-up, 1986–2002) in diet quality in relation to total and cause-specific mortality.


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