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Mid-to-late life overweight and obesity and the risk development of dementia: A systematic review of the literature

Mohammad, Hameed (2020) Mid-to-late life overweight and obesity and the risk development of dementia: A systematic review of the literature. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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Scope: Mid-life overweight and obesity are the potentially leading causes of late-life dementia and its subtypes. This systematic literature review assessed the epidemiological evidence of the association between mid-to-late life overweight/obesity and the future risk development of dementia.
Methods: A systematic literature search in published peer-reviewed journals between 2003 and 2019 was conducted to identify prospective and retrospective cohort and case-control studies reporting mid-to-late life overweight and obesity by dementia risk. Of the 610 abstracts identified and reviewed from the main scientific databases, 17 high-quality original research studies were included for the final analysis, which has entirely met the study inclusion criteria. The studies were limited to humans and English language publications. Study methods were summarised and tabulated according to the study characteristics, design, reported exposures to overweight and obesity, dose-response relationship, and type of dementia outcome. The strength of association between mid-to-late life overweight and obesity with dementia risk contributed by each study was assessed consistently, and the main limitations of the included studies were discussed.

Results: The study results were based on 2,048,255 participants with a follow-up period ranging between 3 to 36 years. Seventeen full-text articles were examined. Of these, 13 studies assessed mid-life overweight/obesity and the risk of late-life dementia, and four studies evaluated late-life overweight/obesity and the risk of dementia. The association between overweight and obesity with dementia risk is varied from mid-life to late-life. Most of the mid-life reviewed studies reported that being overweight and obese at mid-life had a positive association with an increased risk of dementia in late-life, although the results were inconsistent across some studies. A negative association between late-life overweight and obesity with the risk of dementia was reported in late-life studies. The dose-response relationship between mid-to-late life elevated BMI and dementia risk reported a positive association across eight out of 17 studies.

Conclusions: The current epidemiological evidence from this systematic review suggests that mid-life overweight and obesity could increase the risk development of late-life dementia. However, there is a lower or reduced risk development of dementia was observed related to being overweight and obese in late-life. This study has significant implications for future public health policymaking and disease-modifying interventions at the population level.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Medical, Molecular and Forensic Sciences
United Nations SDGs: Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being
Supervisor(s): Shirangi, Adeleh and Sequeira, Ana Rita
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