A wide waist could be a harbinger of dementia

A group of scientists from Korea University (South Korea) analyzed data from more than 872 thousand patients over 65 years old and found that fat deposits in the abdomen increase the risk of senile dementia. The findings are published in the Obesity journal.

In 2009, patients underwent a standard medical examination that included calculating body mass index( BMI), measuring waist circumference, and collecting lifestyle data. The monitoring of the participant's health lasted until 2015. Over the entire period, 13% of people were diagnosed with dementia.

The researchers found that the risk of developing dementia was not related to BMI (that is, the ratio of height and weight), but to how exactly adipose tissue was distributed throughout the body. If the bulk of the fat fell on the central part, in the waist and abdomen, the risk of cognitive decline significantly increased. Older men and women with a waist circumference greater than 90 and 85 centimeters, respectively, had a significantly increased risk of dementia even with a normal or low BMI. The researchers took into account various risk factors, such as the presence of chronic diseases, adherence to bad habits, the diet of participants, etc.

However, it is not yet clear what causes this link between body fat and dementia. Previous studies have shown that extra inches in the abdomen may be linked to other health problems, including cardiovascular disease and type two diabetes.

Dec. 2, 2019, 10:34 a.m.

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