Friday, August 28, 2015

Older women, weight gain and memory loss

Being overweight or obese can have devastating health consequences from increased risk of heart disease and stroke to diabetes and hypertension, new sentence? but a study by researchers at Northwestern University found that for older women the higher their body mass index, the worse their memories tended to be. The study tracked 8,745 women aged 65 to 79 who were cognitively "normal," post-menopausal at the start of the Women's Health Initiative. The researchers found that for every point a woman's weight increased her memory score on the Modified Mini-Mental Status Examination fell by a point.

Older women, weight gain and memory loss

0 comments

Being overweight or obese can have devastating health consequences from increased risk of heart disease and stroke to diabetes and hypertension. But a study by researchers at Northwestern University found that for older women the higher their body mass index, the worse their memories tended to be.

The study tracked 8,745 women aged 65 to 79 who were cognitively “normal,” post-menopausal at the start of the Women’s Health Initiative. The researchers found that for every point a woman's weight increased her memory score on the Modified Mini-Mental Status Examination fell by a point.

Diana Kerwin, assistant professor of medicine at Northwestern and the study’s lead author, speculated that hormones known as cytokines released by body fat can cause inflammation which in turn likely impacts brain function.

The body shape of the overweight and obese women also impacted their memory and brain function,  the researchers found. Those with pear-shaped bodies had greater cognitive decline compared with apple shaped women, the study found. The researchers speculated that this body-shape difference was likely related to “the type of fate fat deposited around the hips versus the waist.”

“Obesity is bad, but its effects are worse depending on where the fat is located,” Kerwin said.
“The message is obesity and a higher Body Mass Index are not good for your cognition and your memory,” Kerwin added. “While the women’s scores were still in the normal range, the added weight definitely had a detrimental effect.”

The study was published in the July 14 issue of the Journal of the American Geriatric Society.

To check out more Check Up items go to www.philly.com/checkup.

0 comments
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
 
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

Check Up is a blog for savvy health consumers, covering the latest developments, discoveries, and debates from the Philadelphia area and beyond.

Portions of this blog may also be found in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section.

Charlotte Sutton Health and Science Editor, Philadelphia Inquirer
Tom Avril Inquirer Staff Writer, heart health and general science
Stacey Burling Inquirer Staff Writer, nueroscience and ageing
Marie McCullough Inquirer Staff Writer, cancer and women's health
Michael R. Cohen, R.Ph. President, Institute for Safe Medication Practices
Daniel R. Hoffman, Ph.D. President, Pharmaceutical Business Research Associates
Hooman Noorchashm, M.D., Ph.D. Cardiothoracic surgeon in the Philadelphia area
Amy J. Reed, M.D., Ph.D. Anesthesiologist and Surgical Intensivist in the Philadelphia Area
Latest Health Videos
Also on Philly.com:
letter icon Newsletter