Obesity Protects Seniors From Dementia: Oxford Study

Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 04:46 PM

By Nick Tate

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Many studies have concluded obesity early in life — from childhood to middle age — is linked with dementia later in life. But a new study has found that obesity in old age may actually offer some protection against dementia.

In new research published in the Postgraduate Medical Journal — a journal of The BMJ — medical investigators from the University of Oxford who analyzed the hospital records of more than 450,000 British men and women between 1999 and 2011 found the risk of developing dementia among obese individuals was very much influenced by their age.
 
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Specifically, the team found that obese people aged 30-39 were 3.5 times more likely to develop dementia that non-obese individuals of the same age. But that risk declined with age. Obese people in their 40s were 1.7 times more likely to develop dementia than non-obese individuals, those in their 50s had a 1.5 times higher dementia risk, while those in their 60s had a 1.4 times higher dementia risk.

What’s more, obese individuals in their 70s were no more or less likely to develop dementia, while those in their 80s were 22 percent less likely to develop the condition, Medical News Today reports.
 
"Although data on different age groups have been published in different studies, previous studies have not looked at the age-related effect of obesity on the risk of dementia within a study of a single defined population covering all ages," said the researchers.

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