Date of Award

8-2011

Degree Type

Report

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Mathematics and Statistics

First Advisor

Dr. Christopher Corcoran

Abstract

In this paper, we discuss distinctive features of longitudinal studies, and illustrate two regression-based methods for the analysis of longitudinal data. A study of dietary patterns and cognitive decline (Cache County Memory Study) is used to motivate our discussion and analysis. Cognitive decline is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, the sixth leading cause of all deaths among Americans. The study attempted to identify dietary patterns associated with reduced risk of age-related cognitive decline in elderly populations. Higher levels of adherence to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) and/or Mediterranean diets were found to be associated with increased cognitive function at the beginning of the study. These differences were not strengthened or weakened over time, but were maintained over the 11 year duration of the study. Diets characterized by high intake of whole grains and nuts were also found to be associated with higher baseline cognitive function, but there was no evidence that these diets are associated with increased or decreased rates of decline after baseline.

Comments

This work made publicly available electronically on August 30, 2011.

8-30-2011