Early Adult BMI Associated With Late Life Dementia Risk' study - Alzheimer's Society responds

Researchers at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference have suggested that efforts aimed at reducing dementia risk may need to begin earlier in life with a focus on obesity prevention and treatment


  • The study looked at the link between higher early adulthood (age 20-49) body mass index (BMI) and higher late life dementia risk
  • Relatively little is known about the role of early life BMI on the risk of Alzheimer and other dementias.

Fiona Carragher, Director of Research and Influencing at Alzheimer’s Society responds to ‘Early Adult BMI Associated With Late Life Dementia Risk' study:

'A healthy and balanced lifestyle is an important step towards reducing the risk of dementia later in life.

Previous research we’ve supported, such as the 2017 Lancet commission, has shown that obesity in mid-life may increase dementia risk, so it’s interesting to see a study that shows this may also be the case in younger people too. But this can’t tell us if high BMI is a direct cause of dementia, there could be other factors at play.

'The number of people living with dementia is set to rise to one million by 2025 so it’s becoming increasingly urgent that we find ways to prevent people developing the condition in the first place. We can all take steps towards a healthy lifestyle, whether it’s by watching our diets, or making the most of the sunny days and getting outside for a walk - it’s never too late, or early, to make a change. Research funding also plays a vital role here, hit badly by the current pandemic - so it’s critical that the Government commits to their pledge to double life-saving research funding for the chronically under-funded field of dementia.'