Milk and dairy intake was estimated in 1081 individuals aged 60 and older without dementia, using a 70-item semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire grouped into quartiles. Over 17 years of follow-up, 303 subjects developed all-cause dementia; 166 had Alzheimer’s disease and 98 had vascular dementia. After adjustments for age and sex, the incidence of all-cause dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and vascular dementia significantly decreased as milk and dairy intake level increased.
After adjusting for potential confounding factors, the linear relationship between milk and dairy intake and development remained significant only for Alzheimer’s disease. The risk of Alzheimer’s disease was also significantly lower in the second, third, and fourth quartiles of milk and dairy intake than in the first quartile. Together these results indicate that diet can and must constitute an important factor in the prevention of cognitive decline.