Dairy consumption and risk of functional disability in an elderly Japanese population: The Hisayama Study

Daigo Yoshida, Tomoyuki Ohara, Jun Hata, Mao Shibata, Yoichiro Hirakawa, Takanori Honda, Kazuhiro Uchida, Satoshi Takasugi, Takanari Kitazono, Yutaka Kiyohara, Toshiharu Ninomiya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Little is known about the association between dairy intake and risk of functional disability in the elderly. Objectives: We examined the influence of dairy intake on the development of declining functional capacity and activities of daily living (ADL) in a prospective cohort study of an elderly population. Methods: A total of 859 community-dwelling Japanese residents, aged ?65 y without functional disability, were followed up for 7 y. Functional capacity impairment was defined as a TokyoMetropolitan Institute of Gerontology Index of Competence score of ≥12, and ADL disability was defined as a Barthel Index score of ≥95. Dairy intake was evaluated using a 150-item semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire, grouped into quartiles. The RR of dairy intake on incident functional disabilitywas computed using a Poisson regression model. Results: The multivariable-Adjusted RR of impaired functional capacity decreased significantly with increasing dairy intake levels (RR [95% CI]: quartile 1, 1.00 [reference]; quartile 2, 0.85 [0.71, 1.02]; quartile 3, 0.81 [0.68, 0.98]; and quartile 4, 0.74 [0.61, 0.90]; P-Trend = 0.001). Regarding the three subscales of functional capacity, the inverse association between dairy intake and risk for impairment of intellectual activity and social role remained significant (P-Trend = 0.0009 and 0.02, respectively), but such an association was not observed for instrumental ADL. The multivariable-Adjusted risk of ADL disability also decreased weakly but significantly with elevating dairy intake (P-Trend=0.04). A similar association was seen for severity of functional disability (P-Trend = 0.002). However, the magnitude of these associations was attenuated after further adjustment for protein intake. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that higher dairy intake is associated with a lower risk of functional disability and its progression in the elderly, probably via an increase in protein intake.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1664-1671
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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