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Midlife adiposity and the age-at-onset of Alzheimer's disease

Midlife adiposity and the age-at-onset of Alzheimer’s disease.  While midlife obesity and overweight are linked to greater risk of AD, we do not know whether these risk factors accelerate the onset of AD symptoms or whether they are related to the severity of pathology in the brain. Analyzing data from the BLSA, we recently showed that higher adiposity at midlife (50 years of age) accelerates the age-at-onset of AD and is also associated with greater neurofibrillary pathology in the brain. These findings are of considerable public health importance as they suggest that maintaining a healthy body mass index at midlife may have long-lasting protective effects against the onset of AD symptoms decades later.

Figure 5 - Mid-Life BMI

Relationship between 10th percentile survival time for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and midlife BMI with 90% confidence intervals from the accelerated failure time model using the log normal distribution. The 10th percentile survival time for AD is defined as the age when 10% of the subjects in the sample will develop AD. It shows that a unit increase in midlife BMI is associated with an earlier age-of-onset of AD by an average of 6.7 months.

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