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Vol. 19, No. 2-3, 2005
Issue release date: February 2005
Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord 2005;19:134–139

Plasma Levels of Antioxidants Are Not Associated with Alzheimer’s Disease or Cognitive Decline

Engelhart M.J. · Ruitenberg A. · Meijer J. · Kiliaan A. · van Swieten J.C. · Hofman A. · Witteman J.C.M. · Breteler M.M.B.
Departments of aEpidemiology and Biostatistics and bNeurology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, cNumico Research, Wageningen, dDepartment of Anatomy, University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

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Antioxidants prevent oxidative stress that possibly causes neuronal loss in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We examined whether high plasma levels of the antioxidant vitamins A and E were associated with lower prevalence of AD or cognitive decline (CD). We performed a cross-sectional study within the Rotterdam Study. In an univariate model, higher levels of vitamins A and E were significantly associated with lower prevalence of AD. However, when additional adjustments were made for important confounders, such as age, gender and total cholesterol, the relation substantially weakened – odds ratios per standard deviation increase were 0.87 (95% CI 0.64–1.19) for vitamin A and 0.94 (95% CI 0.60–1.48) for vitamin E. Antioxidants were not related to CD in non-demented subjects. Our findings suggest no association between plasma levels of vitamin A and E and AD or CD.

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