Differences in dietary recall and subjective physical functioning status in stroke survivors with self-reported cognitive impairment

Jessica L. Kelleher, Amy D. Rodriguez, Keith M. McGregor, Monica C. Serra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Little is known about the dietary intake of these nutrients in stroke survivors, who often experience greater difficulties with physical functioning due to cognitive impairment. Objectives: To explore whether dietary intake and physical function differ between those with and without self-report cognitive impairment. Methods: The present study analyzes data from the 2011–2012 and 2013–2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Individuals were included if they self-reported a stroke and had data regarding cognitive impairment (self-reported “periods of confusion or memory problems”) and dietary intake from 24-hr recalls (N = 360). A subset had handgrip strength (N = 330) and questionnaire data regarding the presence of 19 different functional limitations (N = 187). Results: Of the 360 stroke survivor participants (66 ± 1 years, 53% female, mean±SEM), 48% reported cognitive impairment. Dietary intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids was 19% lower (p = 0.01), with a trend for 13% lower vitamin B6 intake (p = 0.07) in those with cognitive impairment compared to those who did not. Those with cognitive impairment had lower handgrip strength and reported twice as many functional limitations (p’s<0.01). Conclusion: A lower intake of polyunsaturated fat and vitamin B6 may be associated with cognitive function, ultimately affecting physical functioning, post-stroke. It is possible that differing stroke severity and difficulty recalling dietary habits could have affected the present findings. Therefore, further research is needed to determine if interventions designed to modify polyunsaturated fat and vitamin B6 intakes are able to influence cognitive and physical function in stroke survivors with varying degrees of functional and cognitive deficits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-311
Number of pages5
JournalTopics in Stroke Rehabilitation
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 19 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • B-vitamins
  • Stroke
  • cognition
  • memory
  • nutrition
  • omega 3
  • physical function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Community and Home Care
  • Rehabilitation


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