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01.12.2017 | Research Article | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

BMC Geriatrics 1/2017

Relationships between cognitive function and body composition among community-dwelling older adults: a cross-sectional study

BMC Geriatrics > Ausgabe 1/2017
Hye-Mi Noh, Sohee Oh, Hong Ji Song, Eun Young Lee, Jin-Young Jeong, Ohk-Hyun Ryu, Kyung-Soon Hong, Dong-Hyun Kim
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12877-017-0651-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Previous studies reported mixed results regarding the association between cognition and body weight in late life. We evaluated the relationships between cognitive function and body composition among community-dwelling older adults.


Three hundred twenty subjects (≥65 years, women 53%) with available data of cognitive function and body composition from 2010 Hallym Aging Study. Cognitive function was assessed using Korean Mini-Mental State Examination (K-MMSE). Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) was used for measuring body composition including body fat and lean body mass. Anthropometric measurements and laboratory data were collected in clinical examination. Body composition variables were divided into sex-specific tertiles, and examined by multivariable logistic regression.


Among female, the highest tertile group of fat mass and second tertile group of total lean body mass were associated with lower risk for cognitive impairment compared to the respective first tertile groups (odds ratios, 0.23 and 0.09, respectively; 95% confidence intervals, 0.04–0.88 and 0.01–0.44, respectively) after adjusting for confounding factors. In male, higher arm bone mineral content was associated with lower risk for cognitive impairment, but significance was lost after adjusting for adiponectin, age, and education.


Higher fat mass and lean body mass were associated with lower risk of cognitive impairment in older women. These observations suggest that body fat and lean mass later in life might be beneficial for cognition.
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