A study involving data from 1.3 million adults reveals that obese people are prone to dementia than those with a normal weight.
In research it was observed that each five-unit increase in body mass index (BMI) linked with 16-33 percent more risk in this condition, Indian Express reported.
This study, published in the Alzheimer’s & Dementia journal said that five BMI units are 14.5kg for a person who is five feet and seven inches (170cm) tall. It also suggests that maintaining a healthy weight could prevent, or at least delay, dementia.
The people tend to have lower body weight than their dementia-free counterparts, the research found.
“The BMI-dementia association observed in longitudinal population studies, such as ours, is actually attributable to two processes,” said the lead author of the study, Professor Mika Kivimaki of University College London.
One is an adverse effect of excess body fat on dementia risk and the other is weight loss due to pre-clinical dementia.
“For this reason, people who develop dementia may have a higher-than-average body mass index some 20 years before dementia onset, but close to overt dementia have a lower BMI than those who remain healthy,” Kivimaki said.
The study confirms both the adverse effect of obesity as well as weight loss caused by metabolic changes during the pre-dementia stage.
In the research, researchers from across Europe gathered individual-level data. It was collected from 39 longitudinal population studies from the US and Europe.
A total of 1,349,857 dementia-free adults participated in these studies and their weight and height were assessed. Dementia was ascertained using linkage to electronic health records obtained from hospitalisation, prescribed medication and death registries.