The Associations of Dietary Copper With Cognitive Outcomes. Academic Article uri icon


  • Dietary copper intake may be associated with cognitive decline and dementia. We used data from 10,269 participants of the Atherosclerosis Risks in Communities Study to study the associations of dietary copper intake with 20-year cognitive decline and incident dementia. Dietary copper intake from food and supplements was quantified using food frequency questionnaires. Cognition was assessed using 3 cognitive tests at study visits; dementia was ascertained at study visits and via surveillance. Multiple imputation by chained equations was applied to account for the missing information of cognitive function during follow-up. Survival analysis with parametric models and mixed-effect models were used to estimate the associations for incident dementia and cognitive decline, respectively. During 20 years of follow-up (1996-1998 to 2016-2017), 1,862 incident cases of dementia occurred. Higher intake of dietary copper from food was associated with higher risk of incident dementia among those with high intake of saturated fat (hazard ratio = 1.49, 95% confidence interval: 1.04, 1.95). Higher intake of dietary copper from food was associated with greater decline in language overall (beta = -0.12, 95% confidence interval: -0.23, -0.02). Therefore, a diet high in copper, particularly when combined with a diet high in saturated fat, may increase the risk of cognitive impairment.

published proceedings

  • Am J Epidemiol

altmetric score

  • 4.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Wei, J., Gianattasio, K. Z., Bennett, E. E., Stewart, J. D., Xu, X., Park, E. S., ... Power, M. C.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Wei, Jingkai||Gianattasio, Kan Z||Bennett, Erin E||Stewart, James D||Xu, Xiaohui||Park, Eun Sug||Smith, Richard L||Ying, Qi||Whitsel, Eric A||Power, Melinda C

publication date

  • January 2022