This is utter crap. It is another outing for the fallacy, much-loved in medical medical research, that correlation is causation. It shows that there is a slight tendency for the small minority of people who get Alzheimer’s to have bigger bellies in mid-life. But to say that the big bellies CAUSE Alzheimer’s is pure speculation. Given the lack of any obvious connection between the two phenomena, it is much more likely that whatever it is that brings on Alzheimers also has the side effect of increasing abdominal fat. And note that the study was done in Northern California, where half the population seems to be stoned out of their brains for much of the time. Perhaps the bad stuff that they pump into themselves both makes them fat and blasts their brains
Having a large belly in middle age nearly triples the risk of developing dementia, a study released today found. Being overweight in midlife and beyond has long been linked to increased risk for disease such as stroke, diabetes and heart disease. But this is the first study to link excess fat to dementia and, the research found excess abdominal fat increased the risk even among those who were of normal weight overall.
“Considering that 50 per cent of adults in this country (US) have abdominal obesity, this is a disturbing finding,” said study author Rachel Whitmer of the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California.
Researchers measured the abdominal fat of 6583 people age 40 to 45 in northern California and some 36 years later 16 per cent had developed dementia, the study published in the journal Neurology found. Those who were overweight or obese but did not have a pot belly had an 80 per cent increase in the risk of dementia compared to people with a normal body weight and abdominal fat level. The risk increase jumped to 230 per cent among overweight people with a large belly and 360 per cent among the obese with large abdomens. “Where one carries the weight – especially in midlife – appears to be an important predictor for dementia risk,” Ms Whitmer said.
While more research is needed to understand why this link exists, it is possible that the abdominal obesity is part of a complex set of health-related behaviours that increase the risk of dementia. “Autopsies have shown that changes in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease may start in young to middle adulthood, and another study showed that high abdominal fat in elderly adults was tied to greater brain atrophy,” she said. “These findings imply that the dangerous effects of abdominal obesity on the brain may start long before the signs of dementia appear.”
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