Are thinner people at greater risk for dementia, as studies have suggested?

In a recent study, scientists tracked 1.1 million women for 18 years. Early in the study, those who started out underweight (or close to it) were more likely to be diagnosed with dementia than those with a healthy weight. But that link nearly disappeared after 18 years, suggesting that thinness was an early sign—not a cause—of memory loss.

After 18 years, women who started out with obesity had a 41 percent higher risk of vascular dementia (often caused by mini-strokes)—but no higher risk of dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease—than those who started out with a healthy weight.

What to do

Aim for a healthy weight.