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Reported organic food consumption and metabolic syndrome in older adults: cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses

A Correction to this article was published on 22 March 2022

This article has been updated

Abstract

Purpose

Examine cross-sectional and longitudinal relationships between organic food consumption, metabolic syndrome (MetS), and its components among older adults.

Methods

Respondents of the 2012 Health and Retirement Study (HRS), and Health Care and Nutrition Study (HCNS) were included in this study. Organic food consumption was measured with a crude binary question asking about past-year consumption (yes/no). Cross-sectional analyses were conducted with 6,633 participants (mean (SE) age, 65.5 (0.3) years). Longitudinal analyses were conducted with a subset of 1,637 respondents who participated in the HRS Venous Blood Study (mean (SE) age, 63.8 (0.4) years). Hemoglobin A1C and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol were assessed using dried blood spots at baseline. Glucose, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides were assessed using fasting blood samples collected 4 years after baseline. Waist circumference and blood pressure were measured at baseline and follow-up. Logistic and linear regressions were used to assess the associations between organic food consumption, MetS, and its components.

Results

Any organic food consumption over the previous year was reported among 47.4% of cross-sectional and 51.3% of longitudinal participants. Unadjusted models showed inverse cross-sectional associations between organic food consumption and waist circumference, blood pressure, and hemoglobin A1C, and positive longitudinal association with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. No significant associations were detected in the fully adjusted models.

Conclusions

No association was observed between organic food consumption and MetS among older adults after adjusting for confounders. Future studies with a precise definition, quantitative assessment of the consumption, and duration of organic food consumption, together with pesticides biomarkers, are warranted.

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Availability of data and materials

The dataset used in this study is based on a public open access repository released by the Health and Retirement Study (HRS): https://hrs.isr.umich.edu. However, the data from the VBS Study 2016 are available on the submission of a sensitive health data order form. The National Institute on Aging sponsors the HRS (NIA U01AG009740).

Code availability

Not applicable.

Change history

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Funding

The Health and Retirement Study is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (U01 AG009740) and is conducted by the Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan.

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AB, HMG, and AAA conceived and designed research; AAA analyzed and wrote the manuscript. AB, HMG, and EFL reviewed the work and provided critical feedback to improve the work. AAA, HMG, and AB had primary responsibility for the final content. HMG is the corresponding author for this work. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Heidi M. Guyer.

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The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Data collection and production of the HRS were conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. The University of Michigan Health Sciences/Behavioral Sciences IRB Protocol approved the study (Protocol: HUM00061128).

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Aljahdali, A.A., Baylin, A., Ludwig-Borycz, E.F. et al. Reported organic food consumption and metabolic syndrome in older adults: cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses. Eur J Nutr 61, 1255–1271 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-021-02717-7

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Keywords

  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Cardiometabolic risk factors
  • Organic food
  • Health and Retirement Study
  • Population-based study
  • Prospective cohort study