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In a sample of older Japanese American women, we aimed to: (1) describe the most commonly consumed soy foods, (2) estimate dietary soy isoflavone intake, (3) describe characteristics associated with dietary soy isoflavone intake, and (4) compare our estimates with previously published estimates in other Japanese samples.
A 14-item soy food-frequency questionnaire was administered to older Japanese American women and responses were converted to quantitative estimates of soy isoflavones (genistein plus daidzein). Multiple regression was used to examine characteristics associated with dietary soy isoflavone intake, including self-reported lifestyle and cultural factors and dietary intake of various foods ascertained from a semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaire. To compare our estimates with other samples, a review of the literature was conducted.
Data are from 274 women aged 65+ years, recruited from a longitudinal cohort study of Japanese Americans in King County, Washington State.
The soy foods most commonly consumed were tofu (soybean curd), miso (fermented soybean paste) and aburaage (fried thin soybean curd). The mean intake of dietary soy isoflavones was 10.2 (standard deviation (SD), 12.4) mg day−1, approximately a quarter to a half that of previously published estimates in Japanese samples. Dietary soy isoflavone intake was positively associated with speaking Japanese, the consumption of traditional Japanese dishes (kamaboko, manju and mochi), low-fat/non-fat milk and yellow/red vegetables, vitamin E supplement use, and walking several blocks each day. Dietary soy isoflavone intake was negatively associated with the consumption of butter.
The estimated dietary soy isoflavone intake in Japanese American women living in King County, Washington State was about a quarter to a half that of women living in Japan. Dietary soy isoflavone intake was associated with speaking Japanese and healthy lifestyle and dietary habits.
Objective: To investigate the effects of light to moderate alcohol consumption on cognitive performance. Design and Setting: A cross-sectional analysis including older Japanese Americans in King County, WA, enrolled in the Kame Project, a population-based study of cognition, dementia, and aging. Participants: 1,836 cognitively intact participants aged 65 and older who participated in the baseline (1992-1994) examination. Measurement: Cognitive performance was measured using the Cognitive Abilities Screening Instrument, reaction time (simple and choice), and a measure of vocabulary (North American Adult Reading Test). Results: Multivariate analyses were used to examine the relationship between cognitive performance and alcohol consumption at baseline with men and women together and then separately controlling for age, education, smoking, history of stroke, angina, hypertension, diabetes, and coronary heart disease. Findings showed lower cognitive test scores were observed for men who were either abstainers or in the heavy drinking group. For women, a linear relationship between alcohol consumption and cognitive performance was seen on two of the four measures of cognitive functioning. No significant difference in the association of drinking and cognitive function was identified within the different Japanese American subgroups. Conclusion: Results suggest a possible positive relationship between light to moderate drinking and cognitive performance in an aging Japanese American population. Additional long-term prospective and cross-cultural studies are needed to determine the generalizability of these findings to other aging cohorts.
Background: The study was conducted to examine the relationships between functional decline, health risk factors, lifestyle practices, and demographic variables in two culturally diverse, community-based samples of White and Japanese American older adults. Design: The study was an analysis of data from two ongoing studies of aging and dementia in King County, Washington. Functional status at baseline was evaluated, and factors associated with functional decline over a 4-year follow-up period were identified. The sample included 1,083 Japanese American and 1,011 White cognitively intact, community-dwelling adults aged 65 and older, who had no functional limitations at baseline and participated in at least one follow-up examination. Results: In 4 years of follow-up, 70% of the subjects reported no increase in functional limitation, and fewer than 5% of subjects declined in five or more activities. Risk factors associated with functional decline included increased age, female gender, medical comorbidity (particularly cerebrovascular disease, arthritis, and hypertension), elevated body mass index, poorer self-perceived health, and smoking. Depression and diabetes were also significant for persons with the greatest functional decline over the 4-year follow-up. Japanese speakers were significantly less likely to decline over the follow-up period than White or English-speaking Japanese American subjects. However, Japanese speakers were more likely to discontinue participation during the follow-up period, and may also have been more likely to underreport symptoms of functional decline. Conclusions: The present study provides further support that healthy lifestyle practices and prevention of chronic disease are important for maintaining functional independence in older adults. Japanese-speaking subjects were less likely to decline over time, although this
could be due in part to differential dropout and reporting bias. These findings have important implications for the design and interpretation of longitudinal studies of older adults. Researchers interested in the effects of ethnicity on health and aging should be cognizant of differences in recruitment and enrollment strategies among studies, and the ways in which these affect study findings. This study also demonstrates the importance of devoting adequate resources to minimize dropouts, and of including measures of health and functioning that are culturally equivalent and less reliant on self-report data.
Estimates of the prevalence rates for dementia vary significantly among countries. Such variation may be explained, at least in part, by methodologic differences in studies. The disparities in prevalence rates of dementia subtypes, particularly Alzheimer's disease and multi-infarct dementia, are especially apparent in studies conducted in Eastern and Western countries. In Japan and China, the prevalence of multi-infarct dementia exceeds that of Alzheimer's disease, whereas in the West, Alzheimer's disease predominates in the vast majority of studies. Clearly, cross-cultural studies of incidence using standard methods are needed to investigate whether a true difference in risk exists, and which risk factors differentially contribute to this variation. Migrant studies of genetically homogeneous populations offer a unique opportunity to answer these questions. This article explores the value of migrant studies, their application to etiologic questions of dementia and its subtypes, and recommendations concerning how to conduct such studies.
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