Santiago, Chile. It is known that there is a strong association between adipose tissue that accumulates in the abdomen and the possibility of developing diabetes and cardiovascular problems.
However, a new study suggests that the consequences do not end there and that abdominal fat hides other risks.
The research, published yesterday in the magazine Obesity, showed that a greater waist circumference is associated with a greater possibility of suffering dementia in the elderly.
This is one of the most extensive research published so far.
Performed by scientists from the Department of Metabolism of the University of Korea (South), this included an analysis of the cases of almost one million people.
"For all doctors who deal with geriatric medicine, obesity and dementia, this study emphasizes that waist circumference should be considered in the risk assessment of obesity-related dementia in the elderly," said Hye Jin Yoo, Professor of endocrinology and metabolism at the University of Korea and leader of the work.
In the text, the researcher and her colleagues point out that waist circumference is a more accurate indicator than the body mass index (BMI) to measure a person's visceral fat level, which has been related to lower levels of cognition. .
Hence the importance of measuring it in patients.
Several studies prior to this had resulted in an association between increased abdominal fat and an increased risk of cognitive impairment in people with diabetes.
Other jobs had also found a relationship between a higher body mass index (BMI) and a higher risk of dementia.
This led Korean researchers to want to understand these associations more. To do this, they analyzed the cases of 872 thousand patients, who were followed for around six years.
During that period, they were subjected to measurements of their waist circumference and pressure. They were also interviewed about their eating habits, physical activity and smoking.
In the end, the results showed that a waist circumference greater than or equal to 90 cm for men and 85 for women significantly increased the risk of dementia at the end of life.
Marco Arrese, deputy director of the center of aging and regeneration (CARE) of the Catholic University, explains that both factors could be related by the metabolic syndrome.
"Those who have high waist circumference usually have metabolic syndrome," says the doctor. "This causes substances to circulate in the fatty tissue that can also reach the brain tissue and cause neuroinflammation, which can determine a deterioration of cognitive functions," adds Arrese. GDA / El Mercurio / Chile