Investigating the Dietary Intake Using the CyFFQ Semi-Quantitative Food Frequency Questionnaire in Cypriot Huntington’s Disease Patients

Christiana C. Christodoulou, Christiana A. Demetriou, Elena Philippou, Eleni Zamba Papanicolaou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Huntington’s disease (HD) is a rare progressive neurodegenerative disease characterised by autosomal dominant inheritance. The past decade saw a growing interest in the associations between the Mediterranean Diet (MD) and HD risk and outcomes. The aim of this case-control study was to assess the dietary intake and habits of Cypriot HD patients, comparing them to gender and age-matched controls, using the Cyprus Food Frequency Questionnaire (CyFFQ) and to assess adherence to the MD by disease outcomes. The method relied on the validated CyFFQ semi-quantitative questionnaire to assess energy, macro- and micronutrient intake over the past year in n = 36 cases and n = 37 controls. The MedDiet Score and the MEDAS score were used to assess adherence to the MD. Patients were grouped based on symptomatology such as movement and cognitive and behavioral impairment. The two-sample Wilcoxon rank-sum (Mann–Whitney) test was used to compare cases vs. controls. Statistically significant results were obtained for energy intake (kcal/day) (median (IQR): 4592 (3376) vs. 2488 (1917); p = 0.002) from cases and controls. Energy intake (kcal/day) (median (IQR): 3751 (1894) vs. 2488 (1917); p = 0.044) was also found to be significantly different between asymptomatic HD patients and controls. Symptomatic patients were also different from controls in terms of energy intake (kcal/day) (median (IQR): 5571 (2907) vs. 2488 (1917); p = 0.001); % energy monounsaturated fatty acids (median (IQR): 13.4 (5.2) vs. 15.5 (5.7); p = 0.0261) and several micronutrients. A significant difference between asymptomatic and symptomatic HD patients was seen in the MedDiet score (median (IQR): 31.1 (6.1) vs. 33.1 (8.1); p = 0.024) and a significant difference was observed between asymptomatic HD patient and controls (median (IQR): 5.5 (3.0) vs. 8.2 (2.0); p = 0.014) in the MEDAS score. This study confirmed previous findings that HD cases have a significantly higher energy intake than controls, revealing differences in macro and micronutrients and adherence to the MD by both patients and controls and by HD symptom severity. These findings are important as they are an effort to guide nutritional education within this population group and further understand diet–disease associations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1136
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • CyFFQ
  • dietary assessment
  • food frequency questionnaire
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Mediterranean Diet Adherence


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