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Examining if being overweight really confers protection against dementia: Sixty-four year follow-up of participants in the Glasgow University alumni cohort study

Batty, GD; Galobardes, B; Starr, JM; Jeffreys, M; Davey Smith, G; Russ, TC; (2016) Examining if being overweight really confers protection against dementia: Sixty-four year follow-up of participants in the Glasgow University alumni cohort study. Journal of Negative Results in BioMedicine , 15 , Article 19. 10.1186/s12952-016-0062-z. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Recent large-scale studies suggest that obesity and overweight may confer protection against future dementia. This observation could, however, be generated by reverse causality. That is, weight loss in the incipient phase of dementia ascribed to diminished self-care, including sub-optimal nutrition, would have the effect of generating such an inverse association. One approach to circumventing this problem would be to measure weight in a population which is young enough to be free of the symptoms of dementia which is then followed up for dementia occurrence over many decades. METHODS: In a prospective cohort study, body mass index, and other potential risk factors, were measured in 9547 male university undergraduates (mean age 20.5 years) in 1948-68 who were then linked to national mortality registers. RESULTS: Of 2537 deaths over a mean of 50.6 years follow up, 140 were ascribed to dementia. There was no association between overweight and future dementia deaths (age-adjusted hazard ratio; 95 % confidence interval: 0.93; 0.49, 1.79). CONCLUSION: In this cohort study of former university students, being overweight in youth did not confer protection against later dementia death.

Type: Article
Title: Examining if being overweight really confers protection against dementia: Sixty-four year follow-up of participants in the Glasgow University alumni cohort study
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12952-016-0062-z
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12952-016-0062-z
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2016. Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Keywords: Cohort, Dementia, Epidemiology, Life course, Obesity, Overweight, Risk factors
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
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 Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1528327
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