Big Bellies Raise Risk of Alzheimer's

Those in their 40s better trim down, study suggests
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2008 7:58 PM CDT
Carrying a big belly in middle age may increase your risk of Alzheimer's and dementia later.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – People who have big bellies in middle age have a much greater risk of getting Alzheimer's or dementia as senior citizens, a new study says. The bigger the belly, the bigger the risk, reports the Washington Post. The findings raise more concern about America's expanding waist lines and offer more proof that fat around the abdomen is especially harmful.

"If these findings are replicated and better understood, it looks like an unhealthy brain could be another consequence of this epidemic of obesity," said an official of the National Institute on Aging. The study, conducted on 6,000 people in California, suggests that stomach fat may hurt the brain in much the same way it contributes to heart disease—by raising blood pressure and restricting blood flow.