There are many health risks that obesity poses, but now researchers have concluded obesity can increase the risk of developing dementia later in life. The researchers found that age is a key factor in determining the risk level of dementia in people who are obese.
“The risk of dementia in people who are obese in early to mid-adult life seems to be increased,” the authors wrote. “The level of risk depends on the age at which they are recorded as being obese (which may be an age or a birth cohort effect) and, while obesity at a younger age is associated with an increased risk of future dementia, obesity in people who have lived to about 60 to 80 years of age seems to be associated with a reduced risk.”
Researchers from the University of Oxford analyzed hospital records from 451,232 people with obesity and a control group. The results showed that for people who are obese in their thirties, there is a 3.5 times higher risk for developing dementia compared to those who were the same age and not obese. Obese people in their 40s had a 70 percent heightened risk, those in their 50s have a 50 percent heightened risk, and those in their 60s had a 40 percent heightened risk.
This was an observational study, so the researchers note that no definite conclusions can be drawn.