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In Older Adults, Extra Fat Tied to Poor Cognitive Function

For adults aged 60 to 70, obesity, high visceral adiposity linked to poor cognitive performance

FRIDAY, March 23 (HealthDay News) -- In older adults (aged 60 to ≤70 years), obesity and high visceral adiposity are associated with poor cognitive function, according to a study published online March 22 in Age and Ageing.

To investigate the correlation between total and regional adiposity and cognitive performance in older adults, Dae Hyun Yoon, of Seoul National University Hospital Healthcare System Gangam Center in Korea, and colleagues studied 250 adults (aged 60 years and older) who underwent anthropometric measurements, abdominal computed tomography, and cognitive testing. Adiposity measures included body mass index, waist circumference, and visceral and subcutaneous adiposity. Cognitive performance was measured using the Mini-Mental State Examination scale, with a score at or below 1 standard deviation of normative values for age, sex, and education indicating poor performance.

The researchers found that, in individuals younger than 70 years, both obesity and being in the top tertile of the visceral adiposity area were significantly associated with poor cognitive performance (odds ratio, 2.61 and 2.58, respectively), but these associations were not seen for those aged 70 years and older.

"High adiposity, particularly visceral adiposity, was associated with poor cognitive functioning in younger elderly persons," the authors write.

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