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What is the relationship between belly fat and dementia?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

It is becoming plainly clear in the medical community that belly fat raises risks for many medical conditions, so if your jean size is creeping north, it is bad news. Abdominal fat is a major risk factor for insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and death. But now there is another reason to worry. Adults who find their waistlines expanding in middle age even if they had a normal body mass index (BMI) doubled their risk for getting dementia in their 70s. If they had both an increase in BMI and wide abdominal girth (greater than 25 cm around), the dementia risk was 3.6 times higher, compared to people with a healthy abdominal girth and BMI.

The causal link is unclear, but it may be that fat wraps around organs in your midsection and releases chemicals that damage brain tissue. An increase in jean size in your 40’s may predict cognitive decline later in life.


This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.