Obesity and Forgetfullness: Is There A Link?

October 10, 2008

Go to fullsize imageOtherwise categorized as cosmetic in nature, we now know that being overweight or obese is already a considered a culprit for developing chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and now dementia.  Increased adiposity or fat cells in the belly results in production of substance known to cause harm meaning, having fat around your belly is a serious matter!

A recent finding on the link between obesity and dementia was recently  published in October issue of Neurology which I want to share with you:

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Background: Numerous reports show that a centralized distribution of adiposity is a more dangerous risk factor for cardiovascular disease and diabetes than total body obesity. No studies have evaluated whether the same pattern exists with dementia. The objective was to evaluate the association between midlife central obesity and risk of dementia three decades later.

Methods: A longitudinal analysis was conducted of 6,583 members of Kaiser Permanente of Northern California who had their sagittal abdominal diameter (SAD) measured in 1964 to 1973. Diagnoses of dementia were from medical records an average of 36 years later, January 1, 1994, to June 16, 2006. Cox proportional hazard models adjusted for age, sex, race, education, marital status, diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, stroke, heart disease, and medical utilization were conducted.

Results: A total of 1,049 participants (15.9%) were diagnosed with dementia.

  • Compared with those in the lowest quintile of SAD, those in the highest had nearly a threefold increased risk of dementia (hazard ratio, 2.72; 95% CI, 2.33–3.33), and this was only mildly attenuated after adding body mass index (BMI) to the model (hazard ratio, 1.92; 95% CI, 1.58–2.35).
  • Those with high SAD (>25 cm) and normal BMI had an increased risk (hazard ratio, 1.89; 95% CI, 0.98–3.81) vs those with low SAD (<25 cm) and normal BMI (18.5–24.9 kg/m2), whereas
  • those both obese (BMI >30 kg/m2) and with high SAD had the highest risk of dementia (HR, 3.60; 95% CI, 2.85–4.55).

Conclusions: Central obesity in midlife increases risk of dementia independent of diabetes and cardiovascular comorbidities. Fifty percent of adults have central obesity; therefore, mechanisms linking central obesity to dementia need to be unveiled.

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What this study shows is that: Being overweight and obese combined with increased abdominal fat or BIG bellies , increased risk of dementia by 2.3-fold and 3.6-fold, respectively.  While if one is overweight or obesity but has low or small abdominal fat, the risk is lower: a 1.8-fold increased risk of dementia.

Remember my friends, the risk of dementia increased the heavier you are and the bigger your belly is BUT is worst if you have both!  And mind you, in the study the relationship between dementia and obesity was related to the individual’s weight at midlife!

Am at an almost midlife years so am I so glad that I started my own lifestyle change of being more careful with the food I eat and steady increase in physical activity that my BMI has gone down from 25 to 23 and boy…with good calorie counting, my waistline hs dropped 2 inches!!!! I follow what I preach!

It’s not too late to do changes in our lives…. for the better  !!!

Be Productive At Work But More So With Health!

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7 Responses to “Obesity and Forgetfullness: Is There A Link?”


  1. […] Obesity and Forgetfullness: Is There A Link? By Doc Gerry Background: Numerous reports show that a centralized distribution of adiposity is a more dangerous risk factor for cardiovascular disease and diabetes than total body obesity. No studies have evaluated whether the same pattern exists … That Health Rules – http://docgerrytan.com […]

  2. Joanne Says:

    I think it is of the utmost importance for people to understand that weight gain is something that can be overcome even if everyone in your family has yet to defeat it.


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  5. Dementias pose a major, growing clinical, and public health challenge as we enter the twenty-first century. Dementia not only affects patients, but also those surrounding them, as most patients require care in the long-term. To know more about Obesity and Dementia visit this link below know more, Obesity and Dementia


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