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Alzheimers Dement (Amst). 2017 Jun 20;8:165-178. doi: 10.1016/j.dadm.2017.05.007. eCollection 2017.

Body mass index in midlife and dementia: Systematic review and meta-regression analysis of 589,649 men and women followed in longitudinal studies.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, University of Geneva, Switzerland.
2
National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.
3
Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM), University of Bern, Switzerland.
4
Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, UK.
5
Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
6
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

We conducted a meta-analysis of the conflicting epidemiologic evidence on the association between midlife body mass index (BMI) and dementia.

METHODS:

We searched standard databases to identify prospective, population-based studies of dementia risk by midlife underweight, overweight, and obesity. We performed random-effects meta-analyses and meta-regressions of adjusted relative risk (RR) estimates and formally explored between-study heterogeneity.

RESULTS:

We included 19 studies on 589,649 participants (2040 incident dementia cases) followed up for up to 42 years. Midlife (age 35 to 65 years) obesity (BMI ≥ 30) (RR, 1.33; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.08-1.63), but not overweight (25 < BMI < 30) (RR, 1.07; 95% CI, 0.96-1.20), was associated with dementia in late life. The association with midlife underweight (RR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.13-1.70) was potentially driven by residual confounding (P from meta-regression = .004), selection (P = .046), and information bias (P = .007).

DISCUSSION:

Obesity in midlife increases the risk of dementia. The association between underweight and dementia remains controversial.

KEYWORDS:

BMI; Body mass index; Dementia; Meta-analysis; Obesity

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