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Middle-Aged Spread Linked to Dementia

Posted May 12 2011 10:27pm
Middle-Aged Spread Linked to Dementia

New research has shown that being overweight or obese at midlife can significantly increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Weili Xu of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, and colleagues studied data of 8,534 twins aged 65 and older. Of those studied 350 had been diagnosed with dementia and 114 had possible dementia. Information on the participants’ height and weight, which had been obtained some 30 years earlier, showed that 2,541 twins (~30%) were overweight or obese during middle-age. Results showed that participants who were overweight or obese at midlife had an 80% higher risk of developing dementia, Alzheimer's disease, or vascular dementia in later life. "Currently, 1.6 billion adults are overweight or obese worldwide and over 50% of adults in the United States and Europe fit into this category," said Dr Xu. "Our results contribute to the growing evidence that controlling body weight or losing weight in middle age could reduce your risk of dementia."

WL Xu, AR Atti, M Gatz, NL Pedersen, B Johansson, L Fratiglioni. Midlife overweight and obesity increase late-life dementia risk. Neurology 2011;76:1568-1574. DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182190d09

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