Author(s): Levine ME, Crimmins EM
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Abstract This study examined the influence of insulin resistance and inflammation on the association between body composition and cognitive performance in older adults, aged 60-69 and aged 70 and older. Subjects included 1127 adults from NHANES 1999-2002. Body composition was categorized based on measurements of muscle mass and waist circumference as sarcopenic nonobese, nonsarcopenic obese, sarcopenic obese, and normal. Using OLS regression models, our findings suggest body composition is not associated with cognitive functioning in adults ages 60-69; however, for adults aged 70 and over, sarcopenia and obesity, either independently or concurrently, were associated with worse cognitive functioning relative to non-sarcopenic non-obese older adults. Furthermore, insulin resistance accounted for a significant proportion of the relationship between cognitive performance and obesity, with or without sarcopenia. Additionally, although high CRP was significantly associated with poorer cognitive functioning in adults ages 60-69, it did not influence the association between body composition and cognitive performance. This study provides evidence that age-related physiological maladaptations, such as metabolic deregulation, which are associated with abdominal fat, may simultaneously contribute to lower cognition and muscle mass, reflecting a degradation of multiple physiological systems.
This article was published in Curr Gerontol Geriatr Res
and referenced in Journal of Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy