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Patterns of adiposity, vascular phenotypes and cognitive function in the 1946 British Birth Cohort

Masi, S; Georgiopoulos, G; Khan, T; Johnson, W; Wong, A; Charakida, M; Whincup, P; ... Deanfield, J; + view all (2018) Patterns of adiposity, vascular phenotypes and cognitive function in the 1946 British Birth Cohort. BMC Medicine , 16 , Article 75. 10.1186/s12916-018-1059-x. Green open access

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Abstract

Background The relationship between long-term exposure to whole body or central obesity and cognitive function, as well as its potential determinants, remain controversial. In this study, we assessed (1) the potential impact of 30 years exposure to different patterns of whole body and central adiposity on cognitive function at 60–64 years, (2) whether trajectories of central adiposity can provide additional information on later cognitive function compared to trajectories of whole body adiposity, and (3) the influence of vascular phenotypes on these associations. Methods The study included 1249 participants from the prospective cohort MRC National Survey of Health and Development. Body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), and vascular (carotid intima-media thickness, carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity) and cognitive function (memory, processing speed, reaction time) data, at 60–64 years, were used to assess the associations between different patterns of adult WC or BMI (from 36 years of age) and late midlife cognitive performance, as well as the proportion of this association explained by cardiovascular phenotypes. Results Longer exposure to elevated WC was related to lower memory performance (p < 0.001 for both) and longer choice reaction time (p = 0.003). A faster gain of WC between 36 and 43 years of age was associated with the largest change in reaction time and memory test (P < 0.05 for all). Similar associations were observed when patterns of WC were substituted with patterns of BMI, but when WC and BMI were included in the same model, only patterns of WC remained significantly associated with cognitive function. Participants who dropped one BMI category and maintained a lower BMI had similar memory performance to those of normal weight during the whole follow-up. Conversely, those who dropped and subsequently regained one BMI category had a memory function similar to those with 30 years exposure to elevated BMI. Adjustment for vascular phenotypes, levels of cardiovascular risk factors, physical activity, education, childhood cognition and socioeconomic position did not affect these associations. Conclusions Longer exposure to elevated WC or BMI and faster WC or BMI gains between 36 and 43 years are related to lower cognitive function at 60–64 years. Patterns of WC in adulthood could provide additional information in predicting late midlife cognitive function than patterns of BMI. The acquisition of an adverse cardiovascular phenotype associated with adiposity is unlikely to account for these relationships.

Type: Article
Title: Patterns of adiposity, vascular phenotypes and cognitive function in the 1946 British Birth Cohort
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12916-018-1059-x
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12916-018-1059-x
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Medicine, General & Internal, General & Internal Medicine, Obesity, waist circumference, cognitive function, vascular phenotypes, lifetime risk, BODY-MASS INDEX, INTIMA-MEDIA THICKNESS, PULSE-WAVE VELOCITY, ARTERIAL STIFFNESS, CENTRAL OBESITY, ALZHEIMER-DISEASE, ELDERLY ADULTS, RISK-FACTORS, LIFE-COURSE, DEMENTIA
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Clinical Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10049959
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