Doctors from Britain have found that obesity affects the brain of elderly people and increasing the likelihood of dementia by 30% or more. The results of the study were published in the International Journal of Epidemiology 23 June.
“Dementia will become one of the biggest challenges for mankind this century, one of the main threats to healthy aging all people on Earth. Our observations show that the growing epidemic of obesity may aggravate the situation with the spread of dementia” − said one of the authors Professor Andrew steptow
According to the latest estimates from the world health organization, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of senile dementia affect approximately 50 million people all over the Earth, and by 2030 that number could rise to the level of 75 million. Such problems along with heart attacks and strokes have become one of the main causes of death in developed countries.
Observations of scientists have shown that the occurrence of different forms of dementia contribute to a poor diet, bad habits and low levels of physical activity, while sports and a variety of intellectual exercises, on the contrary, greatly reduce the chances of acquiring dementia.
Steptow and his colleagues have discovered another risk factor. They analyzed data collected in the framework of the ELSA project, which involved several thousand volunteers of middle age. The purpose of the initiative was to study how aging affects different organs of the human body, including the brain.
Scientists are interested in whether the impact of body mass index (BMI) of the participants experiences on how often they had senile dementia in 10-15 years after the launch of the ELSA.
It turned out that this statistical relationship did exist and influence the likelihood of developing dementia, no less than other risk factors.
In particular, the researchers found that the volunteers whose BMI has exceeded 30 points, approximately 31 percentage points more likely to get dementia than their peers with normal body weight.
This was especially true for women − their weight increased the risk of dementia by 39%.
While the study authors can’t say for sure exactly how fat tissue accelerates the development of dementia. They plan to test this in future work.