A study has identified midlife obesity as a risk factor in developing early onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers for the journal Molecular Psychology studied data from 1,394 patients who were an average age of 60, 142 of whom developed Alzheimer’s disease. They write that each unit increase in the patient’s Body Mass Index (BMI) after 50 was found to accelerate the onset of Alzheimer’s by a rate of 6.7 months.
The research was controlled for age, race, education, and cardiovascular risks. The authors followed the data for an average of 14 years before submitting the white paper. It also linked higher BMI to a greater chance of neurofibrillary plaque scores, a sign of damage in Alzheimer’s patients.
“In conclusion, midlife overweight predicts earlier onset of AD (Alzheimer’s disease) and greater burden of Alzheimer’s neuropathology,” the study reads. “A healthy BMI at midlife may delay the onset of AD.”