Rising Midlife Obesity Will Worsen Future Prevalence of Dementia

Binod Nepal, Laurie BROWN, Kaarin Anstey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Midlife body weight status has been found to affect late life dementia outcomes. A cohort projections model was developed to assess the impact of midlife body mass index (BMI) profile on dementia in older Australians. Methods: A baseline projection using age-sex specific dementia prevalence rates was constructed and the results of scenarios that took account of midlife BMI were compared with those from population ageing only. Results: This modelling predicts that if the rising trend in midlife obesity and declining trend in midlife normal weight in Australia are to be taken into account in projecting future numbers of Australians with dementia then the number of people aged 65 or more years with dementia, by 2050, would be 14% higher than that expected from demographic ageing only. If midlife obesity prevalence was decreased to 20% and normal weight increased to 40% over the period of 2015-2025, then dementia cases among persons aged 65-69 years would be lower by about 10% in 2050 compared with the "doing nothing to stop current trends in obesity" projection. Conclusion: The rising tide of obesity in Australian adults will increase the dementia epidemic expected in future years.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere99305
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalPLoS One
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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