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Abdominal Fat Linked to Dementia

Experts have warned that abdominal adiposity, or belly fat, is linked with a greater risk of having a stroke or a heart attack. Now, a Swedish researcher suggests this characteristic is also associated with having an elevated risk of dementia after age 70.

“Anyone carrying a lot of fat around the middle is at greater risk of dying prematurely due to a heart attack or stroke,” says Deborah Gustafson, senior lecturer at the Sahlgrenska Academy. “If they nevertheless manage to live beyond 70, they run a greater risk of dementia.”

The research is based on the Prospective Population Study of Women in Gothenburg, which was started at the end of the 1960s when almost 1,500 women between the ages of 38 and 60 underwent comprehensive examinations and answered questions about their health and lifestyle.

A follow-up 32 years later showed that 161 women had developed dementia, with the average age of diagnosis being 75. This study shows that women who were broader around the waist than the hips in middle age ran slightly more than twice the risk of developing dementia when they got old. However, the researchers could find no link to a high body mass index (BMI).

“Other studies have shown that a high BMI is also linked to dementia, but this was not the case in ours,” says Gustafson.

“This may be because obesity and overweight were relatively unusual among the women who took part in the Prospective Population Study.”

The study was carried out at the Neuropsychiatric Epidemiology Research Unit as part of the Sahlgrenska Academy’s major research project EpiLife.

Source: University of Gothenburg

Abdominal Fat Linked to Dementia

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Abdominal Fat Linked to Dementia. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 12, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2009/11/24/abdominal-fat-linked-to-dementia/9759.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.