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  • Obesity appears to increase risk of dementia

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Tuesday, November 28, 2006 5:57 am Email this article
    Being overweight or obese appears to increase the risk of dementia, especially in women, according to a review paper from researchers the Harvard Medical School. 4 of 8 paper found association between obesity and dementia

    Four of eight papers reviewed found an association between excess body weight and an increased risk.

    The other four papers found no significant association.

    First study : 21% increased risk for every 17-20 pounds overweight

    Among the four papers that found an association, one paper found a 21 percent increase in risk for every 2.9 unit increase in body mass index (BMI). This is equivalent to about 17 pounds for an women of average height, and 20 pounds for a man.

    Second study : 13-15% increased risk for obese women

    A second paper found a 13-15 percent increase in risk for women with a high BMI, but no increase in men.

    Third study : Obesity doubles risk of dementia

    A third paper found being overweight increased the risk by 72 percent for people who were overweight and 98 percent for those who were obese.

    Fourth study : Obesity increases risk 74%

    The fourth paper found that being overweight increased the risk by 35 percent and being obese increased the risk by 74 percent.

    Conclusion : Excess weight probably increases risk

    “This review suggests increased BMI as a likely independent risk factor for dementia,” the paper concluded.


    Gorospe E, Dave J. The risk of dementia with increased body mass index: A systematic review. Age Ageing. 2006 Nov 23.


    Jatin K. Dave
    Division of Aging
    Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School
    1620 Tremont Street
    Boston, MA, USA
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)@par

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