So, Can really a woman be too thin or too rich? According to the Duchess of Windsor, certainly not too rich but maybe too thin.

A new study found that weight loss between midlife and late life may be a maker for mild cognitive impairment. These ages are defined as between 40 and 65. The study was from the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, which included 10,000 people. It found that a weight loss of about 10 pounds per decade led to a 24% increase in risk of mild cognitive impairment. The findings were consistent whether the participants were underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese at enrollment. Effects seemed greater in men than women.

Findings do not necessarily indicate causality. They are several possible reasons, according to the researchers. One is that the weight loss could result from the “anorexia of aging,” which is presumed to be caused by dysfunctional production of certain hormones. Secondly, symptoms such as depression and apathy, which may predict cognitive impairment, may also contribute to decreased appetite and weight loss. Thirdly, neuropathological changes may cause both weight loss and cognitive impairment. For example, impairment in smell and changes in taste, seen in several disorders, may result in decreased appetite and weight loss.

See JAMA Neurology, February 2016.

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