menu ☰
menu ˟

Association between late-life body mass index and dementia


Journal Neurology

Type: Report
Region: Republic of Ireland
Northern Ireland

Research published in the US journal Neurology reports that individuals with greater weight or higher baseline body mass index (BMI) and slower declining BMI in later life have a reduced likelihood of dementia. The research indicates that low BMI or a faster decline in BMI in later life may be an indicator of an underlying dementing illness, particularly for those who were primarily overweight or obese.The objective of this research was to examine the association between body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) and risk of dementia and its subtypes in late life.The participants in the study were members of the Kame Project, a population-based prospective cohort study of 1,836 Japanese Americans living in King County, WA, who had a mean age of 71.8 years and were dementia-free at the baseline or between1992–1994, and were followed for incident dementia through 2001. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate the risk of dementia, Alzheimer disease (AD), and vascular dementia (VaD) controlling for demographic and lifestyle characteristics and vascular comorbidities as a function of baseline BMI, WC, and WHR and change in BMI over time. The results showed that higher baseline BMI was significantly associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Slower rate of decline in BMI was associated with a reduced risk of dementia, with the association stronger for those who were overweight or obese compared to normal or underweight at baseline (1992-1994).From the Department of Psychiatry (T.F.H.), University of Pittsburgh, PA; the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (A.R.B., E.S., Y.W.), University of South Florida, Tampa; and the Group Health Center for Health Studies (E.B.L.), University of Washington, Seattle.Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Tiffany F. Hughes, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 3811 O’Hara St., Pittsburgh, PA 15213



Rights: Public
Suggested citation:

Journal Neurology. (2009) Association between late-life body mass index and dementia [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 24th June 2019].


View your saved citations and reading lists


Click here to view all the resources gathered from this organisation's website.