Waist circumference could detect dementia risk in older adults


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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Men with a waist circumference (WC) of ≥90 cm and women with a WC of ≥85 cm may have an increased risk of dementia, suggests new research published in Obesity. 

The study looked at the association between WC and dementia among 872,082 people aged 65 years and older who took part in a Korean national health screening examination in 2009 and were observed until up to 2015. 

During follow-up, 114,024 older people were diagnosed with dementia. The authors reported that after a multivariate adjustment that included body mass index (BMI), hazard ratios for dementia showed a step-wise increase according to the increase in WC categories by 5 cm from 85-90 cm in men and from 80-85 cm in women, until ≥110 cm (from 1.06 [95% CI 1.03-1.09] to 1.64 [95% CI 1.37-1.94]) in men and from 1.04 [95% CI 1.02-1.07] to 1.58 [95% CI 1.36-1.84] in women). They noted that WC-adjusted BMI was negatively correlated with the risk of dementia in older persons.

"For all the physicians who deal with geriatric medicine, obesity and dementia, this study emphasises that waist circumference should be considered in the assessment of obesity-related dementia risk in the elderly," said author Hye Jin Yoo.