By Dr. Mercola
More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, and the number is steadily increasing. Someone in the US develops the disease every 67 seconds, and by 2025 it’s estimated that the number with Alzheimer’s will increase 40 percent to more than 7 million.1
By 2050, the prevalence of Alzheimer’s is expected to nearly triple, reaching 13.8 million people. In 2015, it’s already the sixth leading cause of death, and it’s one that has no known cure or proven way to slow its progression.
There are, however, several known risks factors, including many that you can control. One of them is your weight, and new research has once again tied excess weight to an increased risk of this devastating disease.
Excess Weight in Midlife May Bring on Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Earlier
People who are overweight at age 50 are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease sooner than those who are not. The study followed 1,400 people who took cognitive tests regularly for a period of 14 years.
Among the 142 who went on to develop Alzheimer’s disease, those who were overweight or obese at midlife developed symptoms nearly seven months sooner than those of a healthy weight.
Further, the onset of symptoms moved up by 6.7 months for each unit increase in midlife body mass index (BMI). Those with a high BMI were also more likely to have greater amounts of amyloid proteins in their brain, which is linked to Alzheimer’s.
Although BMI is a flawed measurement tool, the findings are likely sound because obese adults often have additional risk factors for Alzheimer’s, including high blood pressure and diabetes. Obesity is also linked to chronic inflammation, which might make Alzheimer’s worse, along with insulin resistance, another known risk factor for Alzheimer’s.
It’s not the first time
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