Body Mass Index and cognitive function
Body Mass Index (BMI) may be used to aid dementia diagnosis.
Research suggests higher BMI in midlife is associated with lower cognitive function in later life. However, this association is not found to be consistently observed across age groups; with mixed findings reported when BMI has been assessed in later midlife and in the very-old age group (defined as people older than 85 years). Some studies show that in oldest groups, those who are underweight and/or normal weight are at higher risk of cognitive impairment compared to those with a higher BMI.
The impact of this research will be important for informing the development of accurate protocols for calculating dementia risk in different age groups.