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Larger abdomen in midlife increases risk of dementia

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A large stomach in your 40s could increase the risk of dementia in later life, researchers have warned.

Scientists at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California, found that people who were overweight and had a large belly between the ages of 40 and 45 were 2.3 times more likely to develop dementia than people with a normal weight and belly size.

People who were obese and had a large belly were 3.6 times more likely to develop dementia, but the researchers noted that having a large abdomen increased the risk of dementia even if a person was not overweight and regardless of whether or not they suffered from diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

The findings are based on a study of more than 6,500 people and are published in the journal Neurology.

Study author Dr Rachel Whitmer commented: "Considering that 50 per cent of adults in this country have abdominal obesity, this is a disturbing finding.

"It is well known that being overweight in midlife and beyond increases risk factors for disease. However, where one carries the weight - especially in midlife - appears to be an important predictor for dementia risk," she concluded.ADNFCR-858-ID-18524364-ADNFCR

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