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Higher Waist Circumference Tied to Increased Risk for Dementia

Waist circumference more accurate indicator of abdominal visceral fat level than body mass index

FRIDAY, Nov. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Abdominal obesity is associated with a significantly increased risk for dementia, even after adjustment for general obesity, according to a study published online Nov. 5 in Obesity.

Geum Joon Cho, M.D., Ph.D., from the Korea University Guro Hospital in Seoul, South Korea, and colleagues used data from 872,082 individuals (≥65 years) who participated in a Korean national health screening examination in 2009. Associations between waist circumference (WC) and dementia were examined.

The researchers found that when adjusting for body mass index, the hazard ratios for dementia showed a stepwise increase according to the increase in WC categories by 5 cm from 85 to 90 cm in men and from 80 to 85 cm in women up to ≥110 cm (from 1.06 to 1.64 in men and from 1.04 to 1.58 in women). Normal-weight men and women with abdominal obesity had an increased risk for dementia compared with participants without abdominal obesity.

“For all the physicians who deal with geriatric medicine, obesity and dementia, this study emphasizes that waist circumference should be considered in the assessment of obesity-related dementia risk in the elderly,” a coauthor said in a statement.

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