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Visceral Fat Accumulation is Associated with Mild Cognitive Impairment in Community-Dwelling Older Japanese Women

Abstract

Objectives

Visceral fat accumulation is detrimental for brain health and is associated with cognitive impairment in older adults. The objectives of the present study were to examine the association between visceral fat accumulation and prevalence of mild cognitive impairment and its subtypes. Design: a cross-sectional study.

Participants

This study enrolled 6,109 community-dwelling older adults, including 3,434 women (mean age: 74.4 years) and 2,675 men (mean age: 74.3 years). Individuals with dementia, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, Mini-Mental State Examination scores ≤23, and who could not perform basic activities of daily living independently were excluded.

Measurements

Participants underwent neurocognitive assessments to assess mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and its subtypes. Visceral fat area (VFA) was measured using abdominal bioelectrical impedance analysis. Participants were divided into quartile groups by VFA.

Results

There were 731 (21.3%) women and 562 (21.0%) men with MCI, and the median VFA values were 63.3 cm2 and 96.3 cm2, respectively. Women participants in the second (adjusted odds ratios [aOR], 0.71; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.54–0.94), third (aOR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.47–0.92), and fourth quartiles of VFA (aOR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.41–0.93) had a significantly lower risk of MCI than those in the first quartile. Higher VFA quartiles in women were associated with lower risk of non-amnestic MCI. There were no significant differences in men between quartiles.

Conclusions

Visceral fat accumulation was associated with MCI, especially non-amnestic MCI, in community-dwelling older Japanese women. These results suggest that visceral fat accumulation is partially protective against cognitive impairment.

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Acknowledgments

We wish to thank the health-care staff for their assistance with the study assessments. We would like to thank Editage (www.editage.jp) for English language editing.

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Correspondence to Ippei Chiba.

Ethics declarations

Ethical standards for epidemiological study were adhered to according to guidelines from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan.

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Conflicts of Interest

The work in Takahama city was supported by a Research Funding for Longevity Sciences (27–22) from the National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology (NCGG), Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A) (26242059), joint research with Kao Corporation, and expenses for R&D were commissioned by Takahama city. The work in Nagoya city was supported by Strategic Basic Research Programs Redesigning Communities for Aged Society (RISTEX) of the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), Health and Labor Sciences Research Grants, and joint research with Kao Corporation.

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Chiba, I., Lee, S., Bae, S. et al. Visceral Fat Accumulation is Associated with Mild Cognitive Impairment in Community-Dwelling Older Japanese Women. J Nutr Health Aging 24, 352–357 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12603-020-1330-7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12603-020-1330-7

Key words

  • Visceral fat
  • mild cognitive impairment
  • older people
  • epidemiology