Obesity is known to cause severe health problems such as cancer and heart disease, but new research suggests it could also be a key factor in the development of dementia.
Researchers from the University of Oxford found that patients under the age of 70 who are admitted to hospital for obesity-related problems carry a much higher risk of dementia than those who are not obese.
They also found that the highest risk is among those with a record of obesity when they are in their 30s.
The study involved the examination of data from hospital records for the whole of England between 1999 and 2001. In all cases of recorded obesity, researchers looked for evidence that people received care for or died from dementia.
Overall, data was taken from 451,232 people with obesity, and measured against a control group. Results showed that for those aged 30 to 39, the risk of developing dementia was 3.5 times higher than those in the same age who were not obese.