Obesity is linked with Alzheimer's disease

July 14, 2003 at 7:24 PM

WASHINGTON, July 14 (UPI) -- A new study released Monday shows overweight elderly people are more likely to suffer Alzheimer's disease than thin people.

The research -- by Deborah Gustafson, who conducted the study while at Utah State University -- is the first strong evidence linking the increasing rate of obesity with the increasingly common brain affliction.

The Washington Post said that while previous studies raised the possibility that obesity might increase the risk of dementia, the new research shows those who are heavy at age 70 are markedly more likely to get Alzheimer's in their eighties.

The findings add Alzheimer's to the long list of serious ailments caused by being overweight and, perhaps, represent the most compelling reason to stay slim even into old age.

Although the study linked only women to the problem, Gustafson and that's probably because there weren't enough men in the study who lived long enough to get Alzheimer's.

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