Dementia: How Does Weight Affect Your Risk?

Dementia: How Does Weight Affect Your Risk?
Photo by I Yunmai on Unsplash

A new study designed to assess the connection between weight and dementia risk found that a little extra weight may actually protect you from developing this condition.

The Study

The study, recently published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, looked at medical records of almost 2 million individuals to learn more about the link between weight and dementia. The researchers found those who were underweight throughout middle age had a 34% increased risk  in the future, compared to those who were at a normal weight or overweight. This heightened risk remained for 15 years after the participants weighed in below the average. Furthermore, the results suggest that the risk may even decrease for those who are overweight or even obese – participants classified as severely obese actually showed a 29% decreased risk of dementia.

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The Results

Dr. Nawab Qizilbash from OXON Epidemiology, lead study author, stated that these results remained true even after the team looked at other risk factors for dementia, such as smoking, alcohol and genetics. He also expressed anticipation that these results may lead to more effective dementia treatment: “Our results open up an intriguing new avenue in the search for protective factors – if we can understand why people with a high BMI have a reduced risk of dementia, it’s possible that further down the line, researchers might be able to use these insights to develop new treatments for dementia.”

Source: Medical News Today

There are pros and cons to being either overweight or underweight. Overall, it comes down to staying at a healthy weight! What do you think?


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