Belly-fat Linked to Later Dementia Risk

BOSTON, May 20 (UPI) — U.S. researchers have linked increased abdominal fat at middle-age with greater dementia risk later.

Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine said their preliminary findings indicated an association of excess abdominal fat in middle-age in otherwise healthy people to greater later risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

The study, published in the Annals of Neurology, also confirmed a finding of smaller studies that obesity is associated with lower total brain volume.

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

Seshadri and colleagues looked at data — including magnetic resonance imaging scans of the brain — for 730 participants recruited from the Framingham Heart Study Offspring Cohort. The average age of a participant was age 60 years and about 70 percent were women.

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