Is Waist Size Related to Dementia Risk?

There are many things that can increase the chances that your aging relative will develop dementia. Some experts suggest that obesity may play a role. Doctors typically measure obesity using a person’s body mass index (BMI). While BMI can be useful, it also has some faults. BMI uses a person’s weight and height to determine if they are overweight or obese. However, it doesn’t take into account the lean muscle tissue on a person’s body, which can make a muscular person appear to be obese on the BMI scale. For this reason, some experts think that it may be more accurate to look at the circumference of a person’s waist to determine if they are at higher risk for certain diseases, including dementia. A new study suggests that there is, indeed, a correlation between the two.

Waist Size and Dementia

Korean researchers wanted to determine how the size of a person’s waist impacted their chances of getting dementia. To find out, they used data collected from 872,082 people who took part in the Korean national health screening in 2009. All of the participants included in the study were over the age of 65. Researchers followed the participants from 2009 until 2015 or until they were diagnosed with dementia.

The results of the study showed that men who had a waist circumference of 90 centimeters or more were more likely to get dementia. Women with a waist of 85 centimeters or more were also at higher risk. There was also a slightly higher risk of dementia for people who were deemed underweight.

Other Dementia Risk Factors

While the study described above doesn’t prove that having a larger waist causes dementia, it is a risk factor that your older family member can take control of. Some other controllable risk factors are:

  • Lack of exercise.
  • Alcohol use.
  • High blood pressure.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Depression.
  • Sleep apnea.
  • Nutritional deficiencies.

Home care can assist your aging relative with controlling risk factors that may lead to dementia. For example, a home care provider can help with both weight loss and nutrition by preparing healthy, balanced meals that are lower in calories and include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Home care providers can also increase the amount of time your older family member spends being physically active by involving them in tasks around the house, going for walks with them, or driving them to an exercise class.

If you are considering hiring home care services in Huntsville, UT, for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Ogden, UT. Call today 801-821-4535.