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According to a new research study by the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California, having a big belly in your 40s can increase your risk of Alzheimer's disease or other dementia many years later.
The excess abdominal fat that makes people look like apple-shaped has been shown to link to higher risk of diabetes, stroke and heart disease. Dementia is a new risk of disease added to the list.
The study involved 6583 men and women who were ages 40 to 45 when they had checkups between 1964 and 1973. The researchers checked medical records to see who had developed Alzheimer's or another form of dementia by an average of 36 years later, when the participants were ages 73 to 87. There were 1049 cases.
Here are their findings:
- Participants with normal body weight and high belly measurement were 89% more likely to have dementia.
- Overweight people were 82% more likely if they had a low belly measurement, but more than twice as likely if they had a high belly measurement.
- Obese people were 81% more likely if they had a low belly measurement, but more than three times as likely if they had a high measurement.
It's not yet proven that excess abdominal fat promotes dementia. High insulin levels may help explain them, according to Dr. Jose Luchsinger of Columbia Unversity Medical Center.
The take-away message is that don't wait 'til everything is confirmed by the medical community to start taking actions.
Take charge of your health and fitness through healthy liftstyle changes, regular weight training and cardio exercises and balanced nutrition.
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