HealthDay News — For Hispanics/Latinos, central obesity in the presence of cardiometabolic abnormality is associated with poorer cognitive trajectories, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Ariana M Stickel, PhD, from the University of California in San Diego, and colleagues examined central obesity, cognitive aging, and the role of concomitant cardiometabolic abnormalities in a cohort of 6377 diverse Hispanics/Latinos enrolled in 2 cohorts. Participants were aged 45 years and older at the first cognitive testing visit and underwent assessment for cognitive outcomes at a second visit an average of 7 years later.

The researchers found that after adjustment for covariates, central obesity was largely not associated with cognitive outcomes. However, in the Study of Latinos-Investigation for Neurocognitive Aging, cardiometabolic abnormality was linked to poorer cognitive function and to more pronounced cognitive declines over 7 years among individuals with central obesity; this finding was consistent across cognitive domains.

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“These data clearly suggest that individuals with obesity take a big hit to their cognition when other risk factors, such as diabetes and high cholesterol, are present,” Stickel said in a statement. “Obesity/fat stigma tends to put a hyper-focus on a number on the scale, sometimes at the expense of other health goals. If maintaining a specific weight is difficult, preventing or managing cardiometabolic abnormalities is just as important, if not more important from a cognitive health standpoint.”

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