Belly fat 'increases dementia risk'

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Washington, May 20 (ANI): People with fat stomachs could be at a greater risk of developing dementia, scientists from Boston University School of Medicine have warned.

For the study, Sudha Seshadri, and colleagues recruited participants from the Framingham Heart Study Offspring Cohort.

The sample included 733 community participants who had a mean age of 60 years with roughly 70 percent of the study group comprised of women.

Researchers examined the association between Body Mass Index (BMI), waist circumference, waist to hip ratio, CT-based measures of abdominal fat, with MRI measures of total brain volume (TCBV), temporal horn volume (THV), white matter hyperintensity volume (WMHV) and brain infarcts in the middle-aged participants.

"Our results confirm the inverse association of increasing BMI with lower brain volumes in older adults and with younger, middle-aged adults and extends the findings to a much larger study sample," said Dr. Seshadri.

Prior studies were conducted in cohorts with less than 300 participants and the current study includes over 700 individuals.

"More importantly our data suggests a stronger connection between central obesity, particularly the visceral fat component of abdominal obesity, and risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease," Dr. Seshadri added.

The research showed the association between VAT and TCBV was most robust and was also independent of BMI and insulin resistance. Researchers did not observe a statistically significant correlation between CT-based abdominal fat measures and THV, WMHV or BI.

"Our findings, while preliminary, provide greater understanding of the mechanisms underlying the link between obesity and dementia. Further studies will add to our knowledge and offer important methods of prevention," said Dr. Seshadri.

The study has been published early online in Annals of Neurology, a journal of the American Neurological Association. (ANI)

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