Researchers say higher BMI can impact cognitive function

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Researchers at the University of Arizona have found that older people who with higher BMIs could be especially vulnerable to decreased cognitive function.

Research from the team found that those who weigh more experience higher amounts of inflammation. This type of inflammation in turn, negatively impacts cognitive abilities.

The researchers, "...analyzed data from the English Longitudinal Study of Aging, which includes over 12 years' worth of information on the health, well-being and social and economic circumstances of the English population age 50 and older," according to a press release about the study.

The researchers found that changes a marker in the blood of systemic inflammation in the body, levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), were common in people who had higher BMIs.

The connection between above average BMIs and a reduction in brain function is a correlation, not evidence of cause, the team stressed.

One of the researcher, Kyle Bourassa, said, "Change in CRP over four years then predicted change in cognition six years after the start of the study. The body mass of these people predicted their cognitive decline through their levels of systemic inflammation."

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