Flavonoid intake and incident dementia in the Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health cohort

Catherine P. Bondonno, Nicola P. Bondonno, Frederik Dalgaard, Kevin Murray, Samantha L. Gardener, Ralph N. Martins, Stephanie R. Rainey‐Smith, Aedín Cassidy, Joshua R. Lewis, Kevin D. Croft, Cecilie Kyrø, Gunnar Gislason, Augustin Scalbert, Anne Tjønneland, Kim Overvad, Jonathan M. Hodgson

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INTRODUCTION: Prospective studies investigating flavonoid intake and dementia risk are scarce. The aims of this study were to examine associations between flavonoid intake and the risk of incident dementia and to investigate whether this association differs in the presence of lifestyle risk factors for dementia.

METHODS: We examined associations in 55 985 participants of the Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health Study followed for 23 years. The Phenol-Explorer database was used to estimate flavonoid intakes. Information on incident dementia and dementia subtypes was obtained using Danish Patient and Prescription Registries. Hazard ratios (HRs) were calculated using restricted cubic splines in multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazards models.

RESULTS: For incident dementia, moderate compared to low intakes of flavonols [HR: 0.90 (0.82, 0.99)], flavanol oligo+polymers [HR: 0.87 (0.79, 0.96)], anthocyanins [HR: 0.84 (0.76, 0.93)], flavanones [HR: 0.89 (0.80, 0.99)] and flavones [HR: 0.85 (0.77, 0.95)] were associated with a lower risk. For vascular dementia, moderate intakes of flavonols [HR: 0.69 (0.53, 0.89)] and flavanol oligo+polymers [HR: 0.65 (0.51, 0.83) were associated with lower risk. Flavonoid intakes were not significantly associated with Alzheimer’s disease or unspecified dementia. The inverse association between total flavonoid intake and incident dementia was stronger in ‘ever’ smokers than in ‘never’ smokers and in those without hypercholesterolemia versus those with hypercholesteremia. Furthermore, the inverse association of vascular dementia with a moderate total flavonoid intake was stronger in ‘ever’ smokers and those who were ‘normal’ to ‘overweight’ versus ‘never’ smokers or those who were ‘obese’ respectively.

CONCLUSION: A moderate intake of flavonoid-rich foods may help to reduce dementia risk.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12175
Number of pages16
JournalAlzheimer's & Dementia: Translational Research and Clinical Interventions
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2021


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