Navigation Links
Excess Weight in Older Women Linked to Diminished Memory
Date:7/14/2010

By Madonna Behen
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, July 14 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged women who are overweight may have yet another motivation to take off those excess pounds: The more a postmenopausal woman weighs, the worse her memory, researchers have found.

What's more, the negative impact on memory was more pronounced in "pear-shaped" women who carry excess weight around their hips, and less of a factor in "apple-shaped" women who carry it around their waists, the study authors noted.

In the new study, researchers found that for every one point increase in a woman's body mass index (BMI), her score on a standard memory test -- though still in the normal range -- dropped by one point. BMI is a measurement that takes into account height and weight.

The study, which was based on data from nearly 9,000 women who were enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative, a large government-sponsored study of postmenopausal women, was released online July 14 in advance of publication in the August print issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

"This study really underscores the importance of maintaining an ideal body weight," said lead researcher Dr. Diana Kerwin, assistant professor of medicine in the division of geriatrics at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. "Even if a woman feels that she's generally healthy because her blood pressure and cholesterol levels are good, what these findings suggest is that she also needs to pay attention to her weight, because it's not only good for her heart, it's also good for her brain."

For the study, Kerwin and her colleagues examined data on 8,745 women between the ages of 65 and 79 who had no signs of dementia or other brain abnormalities. In addition to looking at BMI and waist and hip measurements (to determine body fat distribution), they also reviewed the women's scores on a 100-point cognitive functioning test known as the Modified Mini-Mental Status Examination. Roughly 70 percent of the women were overweight or obese.

After controlling for age, level of education and vascular diseases that have been shown to raise the risk of dementia, such as stroke, the researchers found that the association between obesity and poorer memory and brain function persisted. Kerwin, who conducted the study while a geriatrics researcher at the Medical College of Wisconsin, added that although the women's scores were still in the normal range, the added weight clearly had a detrimental effect.

Kerwin said more studies are needed to confirm and explain the apparent disparity between pear- and apple-shaped women. But one possibility is that the type of fat that's deposited on the hips is more likely to release hormones that are detrimental to brain function, she said. A follow-up study now in the planning stages will involve conducting MRIs of women's bodies, "so we can look at how much abdominal fat they have versus hip fat, and see if there's any difference in their brain functioning," Kerwin explained.

This study expands on several others involving body shape, in which obese apple-shaped women -- but not pear-shaped women -- were found to be at higher risk of diabetes, heart disease and dementia.

"What this study is really telling us is that there's something about obesity that puts you at risk for dementia, and it's independent of other factors such as vascular disease," said Dr. Gary Kennedy, director of geriatric psychiatry at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

Kennedy added that he hoped the results would coax more older women to exercise regularly in order to maintain a healthy weight. "This is really a call for women to make an effort to get more active, find an exercise partner, and do something every day," he said.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about aging changes in body shape.

SOURCES: Diana R. Kerwin, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, division of geriatrics, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago; Gary Kennedy, M.D., director, geriatric psychiatry, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City; July 14, 2010, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Fewer Excess Pounds May Mean Fewer Hot Flashes
2. Study shows a possible link between preschoolers cavities and excess body fat
3. High-school seniors with excessive daytime sleepiness have an increased risk of depression
4. Excessive alcohol consumption may lead to increased cancer risk
5. Les Consquences De La Pche Excessive Sur l'environnement -- Un Documentaire Sur La Disparition Du Thon Rouge
6. Excessive Weight Gain During Pregnancy Raises Gestational Diabetes Risk
7. New research finds no evidence that popular slimming supplements facilitate weight loss
8. Overwhelming Number of Americans Concerned About Their Weight
9. Study: Higher-protein diets support weight loss, but may lower bone density in postmenopausal women
10. Brilliance Weight Loss Expands Business
11. Study Shows People Lose Twice the Weight on New Lifestyle Diet Compared to Other Diet Programs
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Excess Weight in Older Women Linked to Diminished Memory
(Date:10/12/2017)... Del. (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... and advisory services for healthcare compliance program management, will showcase a range of ... National Association for Assisted Living (NCAL) Convention and Expo to be held October ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... , ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and fastest growing franchisors and ... flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway 190, in January of ... Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows it to serve both ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ( https://isocomforter.com ), one of the ... new design of the shoulder pad. The shoulder pad provides optimal support and ... pain while using cold therapy. By utilizing ice and water that is circulated from ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... AccentCare, a leader in post-acute health care, have expanded their existing home health ... Home Health. , AccentCare has been operating a joint venture home health company ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Dr. ... recently contributed a medical article to the newly revamped Cosmetic Town journal ... spotlights the hair transplant procedure known as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/25/2017)... Sept. 25, 2017   Montrium , an ... solutions, today—from the IQPC Trial Master Files & ... NL)—announced that EastHORN Clinical Services has selected ... and TMF management. EastHORN, a leading European contract ... to increase transparency to enable greater collaboration with ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... , Sept. 22, 2017  As the latest Obamacare ... Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Lindsey Graham ... that the medical device industry is in an odd ... tax, the 2.3% excise tax on medical device sales ... also want covered patients, increased visits and hospital customers ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... , Sept. 19, 2017   ZirMed Inc ., ... analytics, today announced that it has been ranked #1 by ... Black Book™ Rankings 2017 User Survey. ZirMed was recognized ... for large hospitals and medical centers over 200 beds and ... Book,s healthcare technology user survey history. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: