Link Between Dementia and Mid-Life Obesity Found

Senior patient with loved one
According to researchers, early to mid-life obesity is associated with increased risk of dementia later in life. They published a study in the BMJ-British Medical Journal in August of 2014. According to their study, there is three times greater risk of developing dementia for people who are severely obese and in their 30’s.

The researchers also said that there is increasing evidence that obesity is associated with dementia, and that such risk can be lowered or increased depending on the age of the patient.


For instance, those who are thirty to thirty-nine years old and are obese are at least 3.5 times more likely to develop dementia than those who are of the same age but not obese. Those who are in their 40’s and are obese are seventy percent more likely to develop dementia than their peers. Likewise, those who are in their 50’s and are obese have a fifty percent higher chance of developing the disorder, and those who are in their 60’s are forty percent more likely to suffer from it.

Obese people who are in their 70’s have neither lowered nor increased risk of having dementia, but those in their 80’s are twenty-two percent less likely to have it.

According to researchers, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or vascular dementia can also depend on age. Those in their 30’s are actually at a high risk of developing both conditions. Obese people in their 40’s to 60’s have a higher chance of developing vascular dementia, while those in their 60’s have a lower chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

The findings were gained from an observational study, though. Hence, there were no definitive conclusions with regard to the cause and effect. Nonetheless, the findings serve as further proof that there is a link between the increased risk of dementia in young obese people and the reduced susceptibility of older obese people to such a condition.

The researchers concluded that obesity at a younger age is linked to a higher chance of having dementia, while obesity at an older age, particularly sixty to eighty years, is linked to a lower chance of having the condition.

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