Unstable Body Mass Index and Progression to Probable Alzheimer's Disease Dementia in Patients with Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment

J Alzheimers Dis. 2016;49(2):483-91. doi: 10.3233/JAD-150556.


Background and objective: We investigated the influence of body mass index (BMI) status at baseline and changes in BMI over a follow-up period on the development of dementia in amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) patients.

Methods: The longitudinal data of 747 aMCI patients were used to investigate the relationships among baseline BMI status, subsequent changes in BMI (median follow-up duration: 1.6 years, interquartile range: 1.0-2.3 years), and risk of progression to probable Alzheimer's disease dementia (pADD). The aMCI patients were classified into underweight, normal weight, overweight, and obese subgroups, and further categorized into increased BMI, stable BMI, and decreased BMI subgroups during follow-up using a 4% mean annual change in BMI cut-off value.

Results: Compared to the normal weight group, the underweight group had a higher risk of pADD (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.89, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.07-3.37) while the obese group had a lower risk (HR: 0.70, 95% CI: 0.49-0.999). After controllingfor baseline BMI status, the decreased BMI (HR: 2.29, 95% CI: 1.41-3.72) and increased BMI (HR: 3.96, 95% CI: 2.62-6.00) groups were at increased risk of progression to pADD.

Conclusions: Our findings suggested that underweight at baseline was associated with a higher risk of progression to pADD, while obesity at baseline predicted a lower risk. Furthermore, significant changes in BMI during the follow-up period reflected an increased risk of progression to pADD, regardless of BMI status at baseline.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; amnestic mild cognitive impairment; body mass index; dementia; progression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Body Weight
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / physiopathology*
  • Dementia / physiopathology*
  • Disease Progression*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Registries