Trans fats are implicated in dementia risk

  • Honda T & al.
  • Neurology
  • 23.10.2019

  • von Susan London
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • The higher older adults’ levels of serum elaidic acid (an unsaturated trans fatty acid with 18:1 n-9 configuration), the greater their risks for all-cause dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Why this matters

  • Trans fatty acids, found in many food products, may be a modifiable risk factor for dementia, which currently has limited prevention and treatment options.

Key results

  • Incidences:
    • All-cause dementia: 23.2%.
    • Alzheimer’s disease: 15.2%.
    • Vascular dementia: 6.3%.
  • In analyses adjusted for traditional risk factors, the higher older adults’ serum elaidic acid levels, the higher their risks for:
    • All-cause dementia (P for trend=.003).
    • Alzheimer’s disease (P for trend=.02).
  • Associations still significant after further adjustment for dietary factors, including total energy intake, intakes of saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids:
    • All-cause dementia (P for trend=.008).
    • Alzheimer’s disease (P for trend=.04).
  • Serum elaidic acid levels were not significantly associated with risk for vascular dementia.

Study design

  • Prospective cohort study of 1628 Japanese community-dwelling older adults aged ≥60 years without dementia (Hisayama study).
  • Main outcomes: all-cause dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia during median 10.2-year follow-up.
  • Funding: Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan; others.

Limitations

  • Nonrandomized nature of study.
  • Potential residual and unmeasured confounding.
  • Causality unknown.
  • Unclear generalizability.