Gender differences in the correlation between body mass index and cognitive impairment among the community-dwelling oldest-old in China: a cross-sectional study
Objective: This study investigates gender differences in the correlation between body mass index (BMI) and cognitive impairment among Chinese community-dwelling oldest-old.
Setting: Twenty-three provinces in China. Participants' mini-mental state examination (MMSE) scores <24 were considered cognitive impairment. Furthermore, the assessment standards of BMI status were classified into four categories: obese (BMI >30), overweight (25≤BMI≤30), normal (18.5≤BMI<25) and underweight (BMI <18.5).
Participants: A total of 9218 older adults (age 80+) were included from the 2018 wave of Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Study.
Methods: Cognitive impairment, BMI and other covariates consisted of the sociodemographic variables, health behaviours and health status were collected. Cognitive impairment was assessed by the MMSE. Inverse probability weighting procedure was adopted to deal with bias due to dropout.Logistic regression was conducted to examine the correlation between BMI and cognitive impairment.
Results: Among 9218 respondents, 3837 were males. Overall, the percentage of participants with cognitive impairment was 44.7%, with 32.1% among males and 53.7% among females. After controlling for other variables, males who were either overweight or underweight and females who were underweight were found to have higher risk of cognitive impairment among the oldest-old. Age, education, economic status, physical activity, activities of daily living, hypertension as well as heart disease were the predicting factors of cognitive impairment.
Conclusions: The relationship between BMI and cognitive impairment differs between male and female oldest-old, suggesting that we should pay attention to different BMI groups and adopt precise prevention strategies based on gender.