Greater body fat has been shown to be a risk factor for decreased cognitive function – Archyde

A new study has found that having more body fat is a risk factor for reduced cognitive function, such as processing speed, in adults.

Even when the researchers adjusted for cardiovascular risk factors (such as diabetes or high blood pressure) or vascular brain injury, the association between body fat and lower cognitive scores remained. This suggests other, as yet unconfirmed, ways that excess body fat is linked to reduced cognitive function.

In the study, 9,166 participants were measured using bioelectrical impedance analysis to determine their total body fat.

Additionally, 6,733 of the participants underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure abdominal fat that accumulates around organs known as visceral fat, and the MRI also assessed vascular brain injuries — areas in the brain affected by reduced blood flow to the brain .

The results were published today in JAMA network open.

Our results suggest that strategies to avoid or reduce excess body fat can preserve cognitive function.”

Sonja Anand, lead author, Professor of Medicine at McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and Specialist in Vascular Medicine at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS)

She is also a Senior Scientist at McMaster and HHS’s Population Health Research Institute.

She added that “the effect of increased body fat persisted even after accounting for its effect on increasing cardiovascular risk factors, such as diabetes and hypertension, as well as vascular brain injury, which should prompt researchers to investigate what other signaling pathways excess fat might be associated with.” reduced cognitive function.”

Co-author Eric Smith, a neurologist, research scientist, and associate professor of clinical neuroscience at the University of Calgary, said that “preserving cognitive function is one of the best ways to prevent dementia in old age. This study suggests that one of the ways that good diet and physical activity can prevent dementia is by maintaining a healthy weight and body fat percentage.”

Smith leads the Brain Core Lab for the two population cohorts used for this new analysis – the Canadian Alliance for Healthy Hearts and Minds (CAHHM) and PURE Mind – a sub-study of the large, international Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiological (PURE). to learn.

The participants were in the age group of 30 to 75 years with a mean age of about 58 years. Just over 56% were women; They all lived in either Canada or Poland. The majority were of white European descent, with about 16% of other ethnic origins. Individuals with known cardiovascular disease were excluded.


Magazine reference:

Anand, SS, et al. (2022) Assessment of Obesity and Cognitive Function in Adults. JAMA network open.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.