Study Suggests Obesity in Middle Age Increases Risk of Developing Alzheimer’s Disease as a Senior

The results of a new study indicate that people who are obese and between ages 40 and 45 are almost 300% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease when they reach their 60s and 70s then are people who are thin in middle-age.

The study, which was presented at a meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, measured truncal and peripheral adiposity in 8,776 men (45%)  and women (55%) who
were 40 to 45 (average 42) in 1964 to 1973 and then tracked the rate of Alzheimer’s from 1994 to 2005.

In the group that was 70% Caucasian, 225 people were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease between those dates.

The team found that when it factored any type of cardiovascular event or diabetes into the equation, fat, especially “truncal” fat, remained predictive of Alzheimer’s disease risk.

Although the researchers theorize that adipose cytokines may affect the brain, there is still not enough data concerning the clinical effects of fat cells. From a clinical standpoint, however, the inference is that obesity is harmful to the brain as well as the heart.

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