Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

Relation of Obesity to Cognitive Function: Importance of Central Obesity and Synergistic Influence of Concomitant Hypertension. The Framingham Heart Study

Buy Article:

$68.00 + tax (Refund Policy)

Background: Obesity has been related to the incidence of dementia but its impact on cognitive performance in persons without dementia is less clear. We hypothesized that mid-life obesity may modulate the impact of conventional cardiovascular risk factors (CVRF) on cognitive impairment. We tested this hypothesis in the community-based Framingham Offspring Study sample.

Methods: At Examination cycle 4 (1988-90) of the Offspring Cohort, indices of obesity (BMI and Waist-Hip Ratio [WHR]) and baseline CVRF levels were ascertained in 1,814 men and women, aged 40-69 years. Obesity and hypertension were related to the score on each of 8 neurocognitive tests measured at Examination 8, 12 years later (1999-2002).

Results: Midlife measures of central obesity (WHR in the uppermost quartile- Q4) and of hypertension (BP≥140/≥90 or use of anti-hypertensive medication) were each significantly related to poorer performance on executive function & visuomotor skills (Trails B, Visual Reproductions-Immediate and Delayed Recall). Further, the relation of hypertension to neurocognitive performance was significantly modified by WHR; hypertension was not associated with neurocognitive performance in WHR Q1-Q3, but was associated with a marked adverse performance in Q4 WHR. Neither HTN nor obesity was individually or synergistically related to verbal memory (immediate or delayed recall).

Conclusions: Executive function and visuomotor skills were differentially affected by the combined presence of midlife hypertension and Q4 WHR while measures of verbal memory function were not related to these risk factors in our sample, a pattern consistent with vascular cognitive impairment. Control of mid-life elevated blood pressure and central obesity may be strategies to reduce cognitive decline with age.
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: Obesity; cognitive functioning; epidemiologic study; executive function; hypertension; mid-life risk factors; waist-hip ratio

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Boston University School of Medicine, 715 Albany Street, B608, Boston, MA 02118-2526, USA.

Publication date: April 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • Current Alzheimer Research publishes peer-reviewed frontier review and research articles on all areas of Alzheimer's disease. This multidisciplinary journal will help in understanding the neurobiology, genetics, pathogenesis, and treatment strategies of Alzheimer's disease. The journal publishes objective reviews written by experts and leaders actively engaged in research using cellular, molecular, and animal models. The journal also covers original articles on recent research in fast emerging areas of molecular diagnostics, brain imaging, drug development and discovery, and clinical aspects of Alzheimer's disease. Manuscripts are encouraged that relate to the synergistic mechanism of Alzheimer's disease with other dementia and neurodegenerative disorders. Book reviews, meeting reports and letters-to-the-editor are also published. The journal is essential reading for researchers, educators and physicians with interest in age-related dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Current Alzheimer Research provides a comprehensive 'bird's-eye view' of the current state of Alzheimer's research for neuroscientists, clinicians, health science planners, granting, caregivers and families of this devastating disease.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more