Plasma phospholipid very-long-chain SFAs in midlife and 20-year cognitive change in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC): a cohort study

Danni Li, Jeffrey R. Misialek, Ma Jing, Michael Y. Tsai, John H. Eckfeldt, Lyn M. Steffen, David Knopman, Lisa Wruck, Rebecca Gottesman, Tom H. Mosley, A. Richey Sharrett, Alvaro Alonso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Very-long-chain SFAs (VLSFAs) have recently gained considerable attention as having beneficial effects on health and aging. OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to assess the associations of plasma phospholipid VLSFAs [arachidic acid (20:0), behenic acid (22:0), tricosanoic acid (23:0), and lignoceric acid (24:0)] with 20-y cognitive decline in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) participants. Furthermore, this study compared the associations of plasma phospholipid VLSFAs with 5 common groups of fatty acids [i.e., total SFAs, total MUFAs, total ω-3 (n-3) PUFAs, total marine-derived ω-3 PUFAs, total ω-6 PUFAs]. METHODS: This study used a cohort study design of 3229 ARIC participants enrolled at the Minnesota field center. Fatty acids were measured at visit 1 (1987-1989); and cognition was assessed at visits 2 (1990-1992), 4 (1996-1998), and 5 (2011-2013) using 3 tests: the Delayed Word Recall Test (DWRT), the Digit-Symbol Substitution Test (DSST), and the Word Fluency Test (WFT). RESULTS: Higher proportions of plasma phospholipid total VLSFAs and each individual VLSFA were associated with less decline in WFT, a test of verbal fluency. For example, 1 SD higher in total VLSFAs at baseline was associated with 0.057 SD (95% CI: 0.018, 0.096, P = 0.004) less cognitive decline over 20 y as measured by WFT score. None of the 5 common fatty acid groups were associated with change in WFT, but a higher proportion of plasma phospholipid total MUFAs was associated with greater decline in DWRT; higher total ω-6 PUFAs with less decline in DWRT; and higher total ω-3 and total marine-derived ω-3 PUFAs with less decline in DSST. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that higher proportions of plasma phospholipid VLSFAs in midlife may be associated with less 20-y cognitive decline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1252-1258
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Volume111
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

Keywords

  • cognitive change
  • Delayed Word Recall Test (DWRT)
  • Digit-Symbol Substitution Test (DSST)
  • midlife
  • plasma phospholipid very-long-chain saturated fatty acids (VLSFAs)
  • Word Fluency Test (WFT)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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    Li, D., Misialek, J. R., Jing, M., Tsai, M. Y., Eckfeldt, J. H., Steffen, L. M., Knopman, D., Wruck, L., Gottesman, R., Mosley, T. H., Sharrett, A. R., & Alonso, A. (2020). Plasma phospholipid very-long-chain SFAs in midlife and 20-year cognitive change in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC): a cohort study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 111(6), 1252-1258. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqaa048