(STUDYFINDS) -- DUBLIN — Hope to hold on to a strong memory in your elder years? Do your best to maintain a healthy figure as you age. A new study finds that a larger waistline is linked to greater cognitive decline in adults over 60.
Researchers at Trinity College Dublin analyzed data on nearly 5,200 elderly Irish adults who participated in a national study that examined various health and lifestyle factors. The authors ultimately found that one’s waist-to-hip ratio may represent their level of cognitive function. That is, the more belly fat an individual has, the more likely they’ll show some form of cognitive impairment — such as worsened memory, poor judgment, trouble thinking — once they hit their 60s. Research has shown that overweight people perform worse on memory and visuospatial tests, but few studies had made the same connection among older adults, particularly using such a large sample group.