Midlife obesity is very much unhealthy despite the fact that it can increase risk of developing hypertension, diabetes and heart disease because a new study shows that obesity in middle age may also cause people to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers found out that those subjects who were obese or overweight in midlife – defined as having a BMI (body mass index) of 25 and above- were likely to develop Alzheimer’s around 6.7 months sooner than participants of a healthy weight. What’s worse is that, the risk of earlier Alzheimer’s onset rose with each unit increase in midlife BMI. For example, participants with a BMI of 30 in midlife were likely to develop Alzheimer’s a year earlier than those with a BMI of 28.
The researchers found out that the higher the BMI in midlife, the greater abundance of amyloid proteins present in the brain, which is said to be the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. To support that finding, Medical News Today reports, a study conducted by Canadian researchers last month have found an abnormal accumulation of fat in the brain may speed up the progression of Alzheimer’s.
While the researchers are unable to describe the exact mechanisms behind their findings, they believe their results highlight the importance of maintaining a healthy weight in midlife in order to prevent early Alzheimer’s onset.
Our findings raise the possibility that inexpensive, noninvasive interventions targeting midlife obesity and overweight could substantially alter the trajectory of Alzheimer’s disease, reducing its global public health and economic impact.”
The team notes that further research involving a larger study sample is warranted in order to determine whether there is a specific BMI value at which the risk of earlier Alzheimer’s onset begins to increase.