Navigation Links
Abdominal Fat Boosts Dementia Risk
Date:3/26/2008

Potbellies in midlife may flood brain with toxic substances, researcher says

WEDNESDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) -- A potbelly in middle age more than triples the risk of senility decades later, according to a large study that pinpoints a new link between obesity and dementia.

"The take-home message is that it's not only what you weigh, but it's where you carry your weight in midlife," said study author Rachel Whitmer, a research scientist with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, in Oakland, Calif.

The good news? Lose weight, and you may be able to reduce the increased risk, she said.

Researchers have been tracking the mental fallout of obesity for years. In 2005, Whitmer and her colleagues reported that people who were fatter in middle age were as much as 74 percent more likely to develop dementia as senior citizens.

An estimated 10 million American baby boomers will develop Alzheimer's disease in their lifetime, according to research released earlier this month, while another study found that more than 20 percent of seniors have memory loss not classified as dementia.

In the new study, researchers looked specifically at belly fat, checking to see if it posed a risk in people even if they were otherwise not overweight.

The study examined 6,583 Kaiser Permanente health-care plan members between the ages of 40 and 45 who had their abdominal fat measured in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The researchers followed up to see what happened to them between 1994 and 2006, when they reached their 70s and beyond.

The findings were published in the March 26 online issue of Neurology.

Overall, 16 percent of those studied developed dementia, also known as senility. Researchers found that obese people who had the most abdominal fat in their 40s were 3.6 times more likely to develop dementia than those with the least amount of abdominal fat.

People who were overweight -- a step below obese -- and had large bellies in their 40s were 2.3 times more likely to develop dementia.

Overall, 21 percent of those with high levels of belly fat developed dementia, compared to 15 percent of others, Whitmer said.

The effects of belly fat remained even when researchers adjusted their statistics to take into account the effect of conditions such as stroke and diabetes.

It's still possible that a factor other than abdominal fat may cause the higher rate of dementia. The study doesn't confirm a direct cause-and-effect relationship. Still, the findings suggest that something about abdominal body fat affects the brain independently of cardiovascular disease or diabetes, Whitmer noted.

It's not clear, however, exactly how obesity translates into reduced brain function. It may have something to do with how belly fat surrounds the body's organs and secretes hormones and toxic substances that could disrupt the way the brain functions, Whitmer speculated.

William Thies, vice president of medical and scientific relations with the Alzheimer's Association, said another theory is that the physical presence of belly fat and its compression of abdominal organs could burden the entire body, affecting the brain by increasing blood pressure and cholesterol. However, "whether there's a direct biological link between body fat and Alzheimer's has yet to be established," he said.

Whatever the cause for the connection, all hope is not lost.

"Even with moderate exercise, you can reduce that visceral fat, the fat around the organs," Whitmer said, adding that there's a lot of evidence that the roots of dementia develop years before it becomes obvious, so a change now could spell a big benefit later.

More information

To learn more about proper weight loss, visit the National Women's Health Information Center.



SOURCES: Rachel Whitmer, Ph.D., research scientist, Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, Oakland, Calif.; William Thies, vice president, medical and scientific relations, Alzheimer's Association, Chicago; March 26, 2008, Neurology


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Common abdominal pain may be due to a potentially treatable newly recognized inflammatory reaction
2. MultiVu Video Feed: FDA Approves DORIBAX(TM) (doripenem for injection) for the Treatment of Complicated Intra-abdominal and Complicated Urinary Tract Infections
3. Survival of newborns with abdominal holes differs according to hospital, Hopkins research shows
4. Is it pancreatitis in acute abdominal pain in acute viral hepatitis?
5. Screening for abdominal aortic aneurysms in women may save lives
6. Abdominal Fat Tied to High Risk for Coronary Trouble
7. Constipation most common cause of childrens abdominal pain
8. Combo Treatment Ups Survival When Cancer Spreads to Abdominal Lining
9. Womans Abdominal Organs Removed in Unique Cancer Surgery
10. New treatment boosts muscle function in myasthenia gravis
11. Heavy Drinking Boosts Stroke Risk for Chinese Men
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Abdominal Fat Boosts Dementia Risk
(Date:2/6/2016)... ... February 06, 2016 , ... Research ... treatment helps to reduce the frequency and level of relapse. , ... Healthy Identity and Purpose,” will explore the critical tasks of the recovery phase ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... Successful recruitment and retention ... and scientific initiatives have all marked the last 12 months at Roswell Park ... of the nation’s oldest cancer center, Candace S. Johnson, PhD, outlined the many ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... H. Van Allen have signed a joint enrollment and degree completion agreement. ... toward associate and baccalaureate degrees at FHU|Dickson. , The agreement allows students ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... Pass, OR (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... with modern technology, such water may be safer than regular municipal or well water. ... advocate and radio host Sharon Kleyne, could go a long way toward increasing public ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... York, New York (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... announced the election of Patrick McDermott as Chairman of the National Board of Directors. ... Pat as Chairman of the Board,” stated Leslie A. Chambers , APDA President ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)... ALBANY, New York , February 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... A new Transparency Market Research report states that the ... bn in 2014 and is predicted to reach US$185.9 ... a CAGR of 6.50% from 2014 to 2020. The ... Market: (Branded/Generic/Over-the-counter, Chemical/Biological, Captive/Contract Manufactured, by Geography, and by ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... England , February 5, 2016 ... --> Today, VoicePower Ltd - The Speech Recognition People, announced ... been deployed to improve patient care, reduce turnaround times and to ... Wirral CCG ,- VoicePower client since 2013 Challenge: ... Challenge: --> - Six doctors ,- Wirral CCG ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... 4, 2016  The Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition ... Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and ... hearing , "Developments in the Prescription Drug ... growing questions about abusive pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) ... and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) are diligent, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: