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Wednesday, 27 August 2014 21:24

Obesity Found Linked With Dementia

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The list of diseases associated with obesity is getting longer and longer. Since the recognition of obesity by renown health icons like WHO and American Health Association as one of the biggest health problem of 21st century, extensive research has been launched to find out its elaborate role in causation of different diseases that find their way through it. Thanks to research, every now and then, we come to know that obesity is at the root cause of many different diseases.

Dementia, the leading cause of poor quality of life in old age is the latest addition to the list. Growing evidence links obesity with dementia. And the age at which a person became obese seems to be an important factor.

Concluding report of a large scale study conducted in the UK indicates that early to mid-life obesity seems to be linked to an increased risk of dementia in later life. The study indicates that there is a threefold more risk for those with severe obesity in their 30s.

The said study used anonymised data of as many as 451,232 patients diagnosed as obese, 43 % of them male, who were admitted in hospitals across whole England from 1999 to 2011.

The relative risk of dementia was calculated for age groups 30-39, 40-49 and 50-60. It was noted that that the risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer's disease was highest for those in age group 30-39. The obese persons in this age group have 3.5 times more chances of developing dementia than their age-fellows who are not obese.

Although this is an observational study and no definitive conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect but the findings are important as they confirm results of smaller previous studies which reported an increased risk of dementia in young people who are obese, but a reduced risk in older obese people.

Researchers think that a possible explanation for the particularly high risk of dementia found in those who become obese in their early thirties to mid-life most probably lie in the fact that being overweight or obese is associated with diabetes and narrowing of arteries (atherosclerosis) both of which are established risk factors for dementia.


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