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A Swedish study has linked higher body mass index (BMI) with dementia in a retrospective data analysis. Researchers analyzed data collected from the Primary Prevention Study that began in 1970 and included 7402 men who were between the ages of 47 and 55 during the years 1970 through 1973. The men were placed in 4 groups: 22 men who were diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease; 78 men who had a secondary diagnosis of dementia; 154 men with a primary diagnosis of dementia; and 7148 men who had never had a diagnosis of dementia. The multicenter team based at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital in G?teborg found that the chances of being diagnosed with dementia rose with an increase in BMI. After accounting for factors such as smoking, blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and social strata, it was determined that the risk for dementia was 2.5 times higher in men with a BMI over 30. The researchers concluded, "Overweight and obesity could be major preventable factors in the development of dementia."
Ms. Farley is a freelance medical writer based in Wakefield, RI.