Older individuals who followed strict dietary recommendations had a decreased risk for chronic liver disease mortality and hepatocellular carcinoma, according to study results.
Researchers evaluated Healthy Eating Index-2010 (HEI-2010) score and alternate Mediterranean Diet Score (aMED) among 494,942 participants, aged 50 to 71 years, in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study in 1995 and 1996. Participants completed a food frequency questionnaire consisting of 124 questions related to their frequency of dietary intake during the past year.
Researchers identified 509 cases of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in 4,806,205 person-years and 1,053 deaths by chronic liver disease (CLD) in 6,685,736 person-years of follow-up. Analyses comparing the highest quintiles with the lowest indicated an inverse association between HEI-2010 scores and HCC incidence (HR=0.72; 95% CI, 0.53-0.97) and CLD mortality (HR=0.57; 95% CI, 0.46-0.71). Higher aMED scores were associated with a lower risk for HCC (HR=0.62; 95% CI, 0.47-0.84) and CLD mortality (HR=0.52; 95% CI, 0.42-0.65).
Foods such as greens, beans and seafood in the HEI-2010 and the ratio of alcohol and monounsaturated/saturated fats in the aMED were associated with reduced risks for HCC and CLD mortality. Whole grains, dairy and nuts in the aMED showed an inverse association with CLD mortality, while legumes in the aMED, empty calories in the HEI-2010 and vegetables in both indices were inversely associated with HCC incidence. Fruit was found to be associated with an increased risk for HCC and CLD mortality among both scores.
“We observed an inverse association between adherence to the 2010 US dietary guidelines and principle of Mediterranean diet for Americans and HCC incidence and CLD mortality,” the researchers concluded. “Our findings suggest that adhering to dietary recommendations may contribute to lower risk of these diseases.”
Disclosure: Albert R. Hollenbeck, PhD, reports he is a retired employee of AARP, has served as advisor in the National Science Foundation Fellowship Review Panel and is a volunteer on the Love/Avon Army of Women Scientific Advisory Panel and board of directors for the Society of Psychologists in Management.