Overweight Patients More Likely To Develop Dementia

Overweight Patients More Likely To Develop DementiaMiddle-aged people who have excess abdominal fat may have a higher risk of developing dementia, according to findings published in the American Neurological Association’s online journal, Annals of Neurology.

More than 730 participants, 70 percent of whom were female patients, were enrolled into the study. The average age of participants was 60 years old. A team of researchers measured the body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, waist to hip ratio and measurements of abdominal fat of each patient. The researchers also did several scans of the patients that measured both brain volume and function.

The results of the study showed a stronger connection between an increased BMI and lower brain volumes in the older participants than in the younger patients. The team also discovered that these individuals would more likely develop Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia later in life.

“Our data suggests a stronger connection between central obesity, particularly [abdominal obesity], and risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease,” said Sudha Seshadri, lead author and a researcher from the Boston University School of Medicine.

Approximately 5.3 million people in the United States were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and it was the seventh leading cause of the death in 2006, according to the Alzheimer’s Disease Association.