Study Links Abdominal Fat Distribution to Cognitive Decline in Men: Insights into Alzheimer’s Disease Risk

Abdominal Fat Linked with Cognitive Decline in MenResearchers at Rutgers Health have discovered that abdominal fat may have a more significant impact on brain health and cognition in middle-aged men at high risk of Alzheimer’s disease compared to women.

A study published in the journal Obesity, led by Michal Schnaider Beeri from Rutgers Brain Health Institute, examined the relationship between abdominal fat and brain health in middle-aged individuals with a family history of Alzheimer’s disease. The study, which involved 204 healthy middle-aged individuals with a family history of Alzheimer’s, used MRI to measure fat in the pancreas, liver, and abdomen.


According to Beeri, higher levels of pancreatic fat in middle-aged men at high risk of Alzheimer’s disease were associated with lower cognitive function and smaller brain volumes. However, this association was not observed in women, indicating a potential sex-specific link between abdominal fat and brain health.

Obesity is known to increase the risk of cognitive decline and dementia, but the relationship differs between men and women. The study emphasizes the importance of considering sex differences when studying the impact of fat distribution on brain aging and cognition.

Furthermore, the study challenges the conventional use of body mass index (BMI) as the primary measure of obesity-related cognitive risks. According to the researchers, BMI does not adequately represent fat distribution and fails to account for sex differences.

Sapir Golan Shekhtman, a Ph.D. student involved in the study, stated that the correlations between abdominal fat and cognitive function were stronger than those between BMI and cognition. This suggests that abdominal fat, rather than BMI, could be a more significant risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia.

The study’s findings open the door for specific interventions and deeper investigation into various methods for reducing the influence of abdominal fat on brain health. Understanding these relationships could lead to more effective strategies for preventing cognitive decline and dementia in at-risk individuals.

Author Bio

Devon Andre has been involved in the health and dietary supplement industry for a number of years. Devon has written extensively for Bel Marra Health. He has a Bachelor of Forensic Science from the University of Windsor, and went on to complete a Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh. Devon is keenly aware of trends and new developments in the area of health and wellness. He embraces an active lifestyle combining diet, exercise and healthy choices. By working to inform readers of the options available to them, he hopes to improve their health and quality of life.