Overweight middle-agers risk developing dementia

New study followed twins for three decades

According to a new study from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, middle-age adults who carry extra weight during risk developing dementia later in life. Looking at 9,000 Swedish twins, researchers found an association between the two. They started tracking them at an average age of 43, recording information about their height and weight. Thirty years later, the researchers looked at the same people for signs of declining thinking and memory skills. Some were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Almost one-third of participants were overweight or obese in middle age, and they had about an 80 per cent higher chance of developing any kind of dementia than those at normal weight. The more study subjects weighed in middle age, the higher their chance of developing dementia or “questionable dementia,” with signs of thinking and reasoning problems, but not enough to be diagnosed with dementia. It’s likely that fat tissues release hormones and other signalling cells that affect the brain’s functioning, they said.


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