Study Links Obesity to Increased Risk for Dementia
Researchers at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have reportedly concluded that obesity may increase the risk of developing adult-onset dementia. Beydoun, M. A., Beydoun, H. A. & Wang, Y., “Obesity and central obesity as risk factors for incident dementia and its subtypes: a systematic review and meta-analysis,” Obesity Reviews, May 2008. The authors conducted a meta-analysis of 10 previously published studies examining the relationship between dementia or its subtypes and various measures of body fat. A pooled analysis from seven of these studies indicated that baseline obesity increased the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 80 percent on average, according to the Bloomberg School of Public Health. In addition, researchers found that underweight participants were also at a greater risk of dementia or related conditions. “Our analysis of the data shows a clear association between obesity and an increased risk for dementia and several clinical subtypes of the disease,” the lead author was quoted as saying. The team further noted that although “more studies are needed to determine optimal weight and biological mechanisms associated with obesity and dementia, these findings could potentially decrease the number of people diagnosed with dementia and lead to an overall better quality of life.” See Bloomberg School of Public Health Press Release, May 7, 2008.