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January 9, 2019
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Association of body mass index and waist-to-hip ratio with brain structure
UK Biobank study

February 5, 2019 issue
92 (6) e594-e600

Abstract

Objective

To examine the association of body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) with brain volume.

Methods

We used cross-sectional data from the UK Biobank study (n = 9,652, age 55.4 ± 7.5 years, 47.9% men). Measures included BMI, WHR, and total fat mass as ascertained from bioimpedance. Brain images were produced with structural MRI.

Results

After adjustment for a range of covariates, higher levels of all obesity measures were related to lower gray matter volume: BMI per 1 SD (β coefficient −4,113, 95% confidence interval [CI] −4,862 to −3,364), WHR (β coefficient −4,272, 95% CI −5,280 to −3,264), and fat mass (β coefficient −4,590, 95% CI −5,386 to −3,793). The combination of overall obesity (BMI ≥30 kg/m2) and central obesity (WHR >0.85 for women, >0.90 for men) was associated with the lowest gray matter compared with that in lean adults. In hypothesis-free testing with a Bonferroni correction, obesity was also related to various regional brain volumes, including caudate, putamen, pallidum, and nucleus accumbens. No associations between obesity and white matter were apparent.

Conclusion

The combination of heightened BMI and WHR may be an important risk factor for gray matter atrophy.

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Letters to the Editor

Information & Authors

Information

Published In

Neurology®
Volume 92Number 6February 5, 2019
Pages: e594-e600
PubMed: 30626649

Publication History

Received: May 23, 2018
Accepted: December 6, 2018
Published online: January 9, 2019
Published in print: February 5, 2019

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Disclosure

The authors report no disclosures relevant to the manuscript. Go to Neurology.org/N for full disclosures.

Study Funding

This research has been conducted using the UK Biobank Resource under application 23,476. M.H. acknowledges support from the National Institute for Health Research Leicester Biomedical Research Centre. G.D.B. is supported by the UK Medical Research Council (MR/P023444/1) and the US National Institute on Aging (1R56AG052519-01, 1R01AG052519-01A1).

Authors

Affiliations & Disclosures

From School Sport (M.H.), Exercise & Health Sciences, Loughborough University; and Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (M.H., G.D.B.), University College London, UK.
Disclosure
Scientific Advisory Boards:
1.
NONE
Gifts:
1.
NONE
Funding for Travel or Speaker Honoraria:
1.
NONE
Editorial Boards:
1.
NONE
Patents:
1.
NONE
Publishing Royalties:
1.
NONE
Employment, Commercial Entity:
1.
NONE
Consultancies:
1.
NONE
Speakers' Bureaus:
1.
NONE
Other Activities:
1.
NONE
Clinical Procedures or Imaging Studies:
1.
NONE
Research Support, Commercial Entities:
1.
NONE
Research Support, Government Entities:
1.
NONE
Research Support, Academic Entities:
1.
NONE
Research Support, Foundations and Societies:
1.
NONE
Stock/stock Options/board of Directors Compensation:
1.
NONE
License Fee Payments, Technology or Inventions:
1.
NONE
Royalty Payments, Technology or Inventions:
1.
NONE
Stock/stock Options, Research Sponsor:
1.
NONE
Stock/stock Options, Medical Equipment & Materials:
1.
NONE
Legal Proceedings:
1.
NONE
G. David Batty, DSc
From School Sport (M.H.), Exercise & Health Sciences, Loughborough University; and Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (M.H., G.D.B.), University College London, UK.
Disclosure
Scientific Advisory Boards:
1.
NONE
Gifts:
1.
NONE
Funding for Travel or Speaker Honoraria:
1.
NONE
Editorial Boards:
1.
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, Deputy Editor 2011-present
Patents:
1.
NONE
Publishing Royalties:
1.
NONE
Employment, Commercial Entity:
1.
NONE
Consultancies:
1.
NONE
Speakers' Bureaus:
1.
NONE
Other Activities:
1.
NONE
Clinical Procedures or Imaging Studies:
1.
NONE
Research Support, Commercial Entities:
1.
NONE
Research Support, Government Entities:
1.
NONE
Research Support, Academic Entities:
1.
NONE
Research Support, Foundations and Societies:
1.
NONE
Stock/stock Options/board of Directors Compensation:
1.
NONE
License Fee Payments, Technology or Inventions:
1.
NONE
Royalty Payments, Technology or Inventions:
1.
NONE
Stock/stock Options, Research Sponsor:
1.
NONE
Stock/stock Options, Medical Equipment & Materials:
1.
NONE
Legal Proceedings:
1.
NONE

Notes

Correspondence Dr. Hamer [email protected]
Go to Neurology.org/N for full disclosures. Funding information and disclosures deemed relevant by the authors, if any, are provided at the end of the article.

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