Wang, R., M.T. Hannan, M. Wang, A.W. Schwartz, E. Lopez-Garcia, F. Grodstein, 2023. Long-term consumption of nuts (including peanuts, peanut butter, walnuts, and other nuts) in relation to risk of frailty in older women: evidence from a cohort study. J. Nutr. 153(3): 820–827.
Background: Adherence to a healthy diet is inversely associated with frailty. However, the relationship between nuts, a key food group of Mediterranean diet, and frailty is unclear. Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate the association between nut consumption and frailty in an aging female population. Methods: This population-based observational study included nonfrail women (60 y old) in the NHS from 11 states of the United States.
Outcome was incident frailty, defined as having 3 of the FRAIL components (fatigue, lower strength, reduced aerobic capacity, multiple chronic conditions, and significant weight loss) and assessed every 4 y from 1992 to 2016. From 1990 to 2014, FFQs were used to assess the intakes of peanuts, peanut butter, walnuts (added in 1998), and other nuts at 4-y intervals. Exposure was total nut consumption, calculated as the sum of intakes of peanuts, peanut butter, walnuts, and other nuts and categorized into <1 serving/mo, 1–3 servings/mo, 1 serving/wk, 2 4 servings/wk, and 5 servings/wk. The relations of intakes of peanuts, peanut butter, and walnuts with frailty were also investigated separately. Cox proportional hazards models were used to assess the associations between nut consumption and frailty after adjusting for age, smoking, BMI, EI, diet quality, and medication use. Results: Among 71,704 participants, 14,195 incident frailty cases occurred over 1,165,290 person-years. The adjusted HR (95% CI) for consuming 5 servings/wk of nuts was 0.80 (0.73, 0.87), as compared with <1 serving/mo. Higher intakes of peanuts and walnuts, but not peanut butter, were also inversely associated with frailty. Conclusions: This large prospective cohort study showed a strong and consistent inverse association between regular nut consumption and incident frailty. This suggests that nut consumption should be further tested as a convenient public health intervention for the preservation of health and well-being in older adults.