Can obesity protect against cognitive impairment?

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  • Obesity was associated with lower risk of cognitive decline among middle-aged and older South Koreans.


Study design/methods

  • 5,125 participants in the Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging, age 45 with normal baseline cognitive function in 2006, underwent 6-year follow-up for change in cognitive function using the Korean Mini-Mental State Examination (K-MMSE).


Key Results

  • During follow-up, 358 participants developed severe cognitive impairment.
  • Compared with normal weight, those with baseline BMI≥25 kg/m2 were less likely to develop severe cognitive impairment (adjusted odds ratio 0.73, 95%CI 0.52-1.03; P=.03).
  • The association was stronger in women (0.63; 0.40-1.00; P=.01) and in participants with low-normal baseline K-MMSE score (24-26; 0.59; 0.35-0.98; P<.01).
  • Obese v...