Excess Weight on Hips Linked to Memory Problems
Study Shows Connection Between Memory Loss and Location of Fat in Obese Women
Alzheimer's Disease: Men vs. Women
The researchers did not address whether their findings in the study on older women may be true for men. Alzheimer's disease, they write, is 1.5 times more likely to develop in women than men.
Previous research also has shown that obesity has been associated with poorer cognitive function in men. They also write that the discrepancy between men and women found in past studies may reflect differences in body weight and distribution of fat.
Kerwin tells WebMD in an email that the most important finding of the study is that "obesity is associated with worse cognitive function and that it has a more pronounced relationship if the woman" is pear-shaped.
"It is true, though, that fat distribution on the body, or the pear-shaped woman, which is a small waist and larger hips, and an apple-shape woman with a larger waist relative to hips and high waist-hip ratio, cannot be controlled and is the same throughout life, even if your weight changes," she says by email.
The study is published in the July 14 issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
Kerwin discloses that she has received consultant fees from Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Forest Laboratories, and Novartis Pharmaceuticals.