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Eating and healthy ageing: a longitudinal study on the association between food consumption, memory loss and its comorbidities



To explore the longitudinal association between food groups and memory loss and comorbid heart disease and diabetes (both Type 1 and 2) for people living in New South Wales, Australia.


We assessed 139,096 adults (aged 45 years and over) from the 45 and Up Study who completed both baseline (2006–2009) and follow-up (2012–2015) surveys. Mixed linear and generalized estimating equation models were used to examine the longitudinal associations.


High consumption of fruit, vegetable and protein-rich food associated with lower odds of memory loss. High consumption of fruit and vegetables also associated with lower odds of comorbid heart disease (p ≤ 0.001). People who aged ≥ 80 years with low consumption of cereals had the highest odds of memory loss and comorbid heart disease than people in other age groups (p < 0.01).


The results highlighted the longitudinal association of fruit and vegetable in relation to memory loss and comorbid heart disease. Age effects on cereals consumption which have an influence on memory loss and comorbid heart disease.

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This work was supported by the University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Health seed funding. This research was completed using data collected through the 45 and Up Study (www.saxinstitute.org.au). The 45 and Up Study is managed by the Sax Institute in collaboration with major partner Cancer Council NSW; and partners: the National Heart Foundation of Australia (NSW Division); NSW Ministry of Health; NSW Government Family & Community Services—Ageing, Carers and the Disability Council NSW; and the Australian Red Cross Blood Service. We thank the many thousands of people participating in the 45 and Up Study.


This work was supported by the University of Technology Sydney Faculty of Health seed funding. SI is supported by the Heart Foundation and New South Wales office for Health and Medical Research by a life sciences Fellowship.

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Correspondence to Xiaoyue Xu.

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The conduct of the 45 and Up Study was approved by the University of New South Wales Human Research Ethics Committee. Analysis of the 45 and Up Study for the present paper was approved by The University of Technology Sydney (ETH18-2145).

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Xu, X., Ling, M., Inglis, S.C. et al. Eating and healthy ageing: a longitudinal study on the association between food consumption, memory loss and its comorbidities. Int J Public Health (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-020-01337-y

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  • Food groups
  • Memory loss
  • Comorbidities
  • Heart disease
  • Longitudinal study