Waist to Hip Ratio Associated With Decreased Cognitive Function
As we grow older, we experience physiological changes that can cause glitches in brain functions we've always taken for granted. A recent study suggests that an increase in waist to hip ratio in mature adults may be associated with reduced cognitive function.
Participants in the study included 5,186 people greater than or equal to 60 years old who took part in the Trinity Ulster Department of Agriculture aging cohort study. The researchers used neuropsychological assessment measures including the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB) and Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) in order to asses cognitive function.
After examining the data, the researchers found that a higher waist to hip ratio was associated with reduced cognitive function, including visuospatial/constructional ability, attention, and MMSE. They hypothesized that this was due to increased secretion of inflammatory markers by belly fat.
Researchers from Trinity College in Dublin conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on July 30, 2018, in British Journal of Nutrition.