New research from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health compares two diet quality indexes in relation to mortality in older women of the Iowa Women's Health Study. Food intake among study participants was assessed at baseline in 1986 and again in 2004 follow-ups. Results found that both indexes, the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI) and a food-based a priori diet quality score developed by Minnesota researchers, predicted total and disease-specific mortality in older women. While both indexes produced similar findings at baseline, at the 2004 follow-up the a priori diet quality score was more strongly related to outcomes. Although there is much debate about which individual foods or nutrients are most healthful, this study shows that well-understood dietary patterns are related to substantially better health in middle-aged to elderly women.