Objective: To test the hypothesis that higher levels of red blood cell (RBC) docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) have a protective association with domain-specific cognitive function in women aged 65 years and older. Methods: A total of 2,157 women with normal cognition enrolled in a clinical trial of postmenopausal hormone therapy were followed with annual cognitive testing for a median of 5.9 years. In this retrospective cohort study, we assessed the relationship between prerandomization RBC DHA + EPA levels and a) cognitive measures at baseline, and b) cognitive change over time. Endpoints were composite cognitive function and performance in 7 cognitive domains: fine motor speed, verbal memory, visual memory, spatial ability, verbal knowledge, verbal fluency, and working memory. Results: After adjustment for demographic, clinical, and behavioral characteristics, no significant (p < 0.01) cross-sectional cognitive differences were found between women in the high and low DHA + EPA tertiles at the time of the first annual cognitive battery. In addition, no significant (p < 0.01) differences were found between the high and low DHA + EPA tertiles in the rate of cognitive change over time. Conclusions: We did not find an association between RBC DHA + EPA levels and age-associated cognitive decline in a cohort of older, dementia-free women.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology