Friday, May 14, 2021

Overweight, Obesity in Early Adulthood Linked to Late-Life Dementia

People who are overweight or obese in early adulthood may have a higher risk of dementia later in life, a study in Alzheimer’s and Dementia suggests.

Adina Zeki Al Hazzouri, Ph.D., of Columbia University and colleagues analyzed data from 5,104 older adults from the Cardiovascular Health Study and the Health, Aging, and Body Composition study. The participants were between 69 and 78 years old at enrollment and were followed for roughly eight years on average. Hazzouri and colleagues estimated the participants’ BMIs in early adulthood (aged 20 to 49 years) based on trends among their peers in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study and the Multi Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. They defined overweight as a body mass index (BMI) between 25 and 30 and obesity as a BMI higher than 30.

Compared with women who had an early adulthood BMI of less than 25, women who were overweight or obese had 1.82 times the odds and 2.45 times the odds of developing dementia in late life (age 70 to 89), respectively. Compared with men who had an early adulthood BMI of less than 25, men who were overweight or obese had 1.35 times the odds and 2.47 times the odds of developing dementia in late life, respectively.

“In light of the growing obesity epidemic among U.S. adults, with recent figures suggesting about 40% of U.S. adults ages 20 years or older are obese, our findings suggest that interventions aimed at modifying trends in obesity early in the life course may reduce the risk of dementia by potentially modifying the course of its preclinical phase.”

For related information, see the Psychiatric News article “Drops in Blood Pressure, BMI Common Prior to Dementia Diagnosis.”

(Image: iStock/PIKSEL)

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