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Elderly obese women
risk developing Alzheimer's
According to Swedish researchers, women who are overweight at age 70 are
more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease in the future.
Dr. Deborah Gustafson and colleagues believe their findings are
important because men and women are more likely to be overweight or
obese when they're 50-plus years than at any other time in their life.
And diseases that affect people's memory, such as Alzheimer's disease,
are increasing more rapidly than any other disease in this age group.
Between 1971 and 1972, Gustafson's team interviewed 226 women and 166
men who were 70 years-old or older. The researchers weighed these
individuals periodically for up to 18 years, and interviewed the
participants to see if they had signs of memory loss or other
According to the researchers, women were more likely to develop
Alzheimer's disease if they were overweight or obese at age 70. But the
overweight men in the study were not more likely to have Alzheimer's
disease. This may be because women generally surviving longer than men
or because women's sex hormones are more affected by their body size,
suggests Gustafson's team. Or it may be that there simply weren't enough
men in the study to see the difference.