Purpose: This study examines the correlation between fish consumption and the risk of mild cognitive impairment in the elderly living in rural areas. Methods: The Yangpyeong cohort data collected from Yangpyeong in July 2009 and August 2010 was used as the data set. Adults greater than or equal to 60 years who have completed the Korean version of the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE-KC) were selected for the study. After excluding participants with less than 500 kcal of energy intake (n = 2), a total of 806 adults were enrolled as the final subjects. Cognitive function was assessed using the MMSE-KC, and dietary intake was collected using the quantitative food frequency questionnaire comprising 106 foods or food groups. Results: The educational level, proportion of people who exercise, fruits and vegetable intake, and energy intake, tended to increase with fish intake among men, while increasing age resulted in decreased fish consumption. Among women, the educational level, proportion of subjects who exercise, proportion of subjects currently taking dietary supplements, fruits and vegetable intake, and energy intake, tended to increase with fish consumption, whereas increasing age showed decreasing fish consumption. Increased fish intake resulted in a higher MMSE-KC score after adjusting for the confounding variables in women (p for trend = 0.016), but no significant trend was observed between fish intake and MMSE-KC score in men. Fish intake was inversely related to the risk of mild cognitive impairment after adjusting for covariates in women (Q1 vs. Q4; odds ratio, 0.46 [0.23–0.90]; p for trend = 0.009). Conclusion: This study determined that increased fish consumption is correlated with reduced risk of mild cognitive impairment in the female elderly. Further longitudinal studies with larger samples are required to determine a causal relationship between fish intake and cognitive function.
- Cognitive function
- Mild cognitive impairment