A recent meta-analysis (statistical analysis that combines the results of multiple scientific studies) undertaken in the UK (1) has identified a positive link between obesity in mid-life and later life dementia. It was also noted that the statistical review indicated the opposite in late life, which was unexpected. Most of the studies included in these analyses were conducted either in the USA, Europe, Japan, Australia and Israel. The work selected for assessment included a total of 62,425 subjects, both males and females.
The results of this meta-analyses show a correlation with being overweight/obese below the age of 65 years (in midlife) and the later development of dementia, although the opposite for aged 65 and over.
The study suggests that by reducing obesity prevalence to 20% over the next 10 years could lead to a 10% reduction in the number of people aged 65–69 with dementia.
The negative association with regard to late life obesity and dementia could reflect that maintaining ones weight in later life can be a sign of health, and that unplanned weight loss is a cause for concern (e.g. due to the onset of illness or disease).
This study shows that retaining a healthy body weight in midlife, between the ages of 40 and 65, may likely reduce the prevalence of the onset of dementia later in life. This will not only improve your quality of life but go a long way in reducing the burden of health care for the elderly
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