Alternate healthy eating index and risk of depression: A meta-analysis and systemematic review

Pei-Yu Wu, Mei-Yu Lin, Pei-Shan Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The alternate healthy eating index has been associated with depression. However, results reported in the literature are inconsistent. The present meta-analysis determined the association between the AHEI or AHEI-2010 and depression in adults without chronic disease. Methods: Nine electronic databases and the reference lists of identified studies were systematically searched for studies published up to December 2016. Articles examining the association between depression and the AHEI or AHEI-2010 in adults were included. Results: We identified eight observational studies with 10 effect sizes involving a total of 38,360 participants. When both the AHEI and AHEI-2010 were considered, the dietary index score was associated with a significant reduction in depression risk (odds ratio OR=0.70, 95% confidence interval CI=0.57–0.87). However, the subgroup analysis indicated that the AHEI-2010 (OR=0.69, 95% CI=0.56–0.89), but not the AHEI (OR=0.60, 95% CI=0.30–1.17), was significantly associated with reduced odds of depression. The heterogeneity among the included studies was significantly high (Q=48.9, P<0.01, I 2=81.60%). Discussion: Our findings suggest that the AHEI-2010 is associated with a reduction in depression risk. However, well-designed randomized controlled trials must be conducted to confirm the causal relationship between the AHEI-2010 and depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-109
Number of pages9
JournalNutritional Neuroscience
Issue number2
Early online dateMay 27 2018
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2020


  • Alternate healthy eating index
  • Depression
  • Healthy dietary pattern

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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