Date of Award

Spring 2020

Project Type


Program or Major

Nutritional Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Sherman J Bigornia

Second Advisor

Tammy Scott

Third Advisor

Semra Aytur


Individual fatty acids (FA) within dietary fat classes [saturated (SFA), monounsaturated (MUFA), polyunsaturated (PUFA), and trans FA (TFA)] may deferentially affect risk of cognitive impairment. This has received little attention by previous studies of diet and cognitive function, and few studies are available among Hispanic/Latinos. We quantified the associations of dietary FA (DFA) patterns with cognitive function among Hispanic/Latinos in the US. In a cross-sectional analysis of participants of the Hispanic Community Health Study/ Study of Latinos, recruited from 2008-11 (n=7842, mean age 55 y, 62% female). Dietary data are from two 24-hr recalls; the National Cancer Institute method estimated usual nutrient intake. Animal and plant MUFA variables and 26 FA were used to derive DFA patterns. Global cognitive function was calculated as the average z-score from 3 cognitive tests [Word Fluency (WF), Spanish English Verbal Learning Test (B-SEVLT-Sum and B-SEVLT-Recall), and Digit Symbol Substitution (DSS)]. Survey linear regression models, were adjusted for a number of dietary and lifestyle confounders. DFA patterns were characterized by greater consumption of long-chain SFA, animal MUFA, and TFA (DFA pattern1); short to medium-chain SFA (DFA pattern2); very-long-chain PUFA (DFA pattern3); very-long-chain SFA, plant MUFA and essential PUFA (DFA pattern4). A 1-SD increase in only DFA pattern 2 was associated with a 0.04 ± 0.01 SD higher global cognitive function score (P