New study states that people who are overweight or obese have 30% lower chances of developing dementia than people with a normal weight. On the other hand, people with the weight under the normal standard showed 34% higher chances of developing dementia than the ones with a normal weight, explains the new study. The research was published in the online journal The Lancet Diabetes &Endocrinology.
The finding that overweight and obese people were protected from this health condition came as a surprise, stated doctor Nawab Qizilbash the leader of the study, from the OXON Epidemiology from Madrid.
During the experiment, doctor Qizilbash and his team have analysed the medical records of up to 2 million adults from the UK, for the duration of 20 years.The average age of the individuals studied at the beginning of the research was 55 years old. During the next 15 years, they discovered that 45,500 individuals developed dementia.
After scientists made the connection between the age and their stage of the disease when they were diagnosed, it was also noticed there was a connection between the disease and the weight of the participants. Drinking and smoking, two things that are increasing the risk of developing dementia related diseases, showed insignificant differences in the results of the study.
Even though the results of the study turned out this way, scientists warn people about not taking them as a legit result as it has only shown a connection between obesity and lower risk of developing dementia and most certainly not a cause and effect situation. Also doctor Qizilbash added that people shouldn’t think that gaining weight will save them from dementia and have to keep in mind the fact that the research also found that being overweight or obese leads to severe heart problems.
Even if the results of the study proved to be relevant, people may not live long enough to benefit from it. Scientists need to conduct more studies on the matter as they don’t have yet a biological answer for the connection they observed.However, the results of the research might come up with new hints in treating Alzheimer and other dementia related diseases and it could help experts understand better the factors of the disease.
Until finding new treatments for the condition, doctors and public health researchers have to find ways of identifying which are the factors that put people to high risk of developing dementia.
The result of the research have been questioned by a professor of neurology from the SUNY Downstate Medical Centre from New York, Deborah Gustafson. She couldn’t understand how exactly the weight an individual measures in his/hers middle ages could actually reflect the chances of developing dementia 15 years later.
She added that weight just like dementia are based on genetic factors and until now how weight can interfere in stopping the development of this condition is still unclear. Scientists have to definitely conduct more studies on the matter and also to make these results more clear, stated Gustafson.
If doctors were to come across a biological factor that can support these results it may lead to new treatments and prevention methods for dementia, explained doctor Malaz Boustan, associate professor at the University School of medicine from Indiana.
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