Body mass index and cognitive decline in mild cognitive impairment

Benjamin B. Cronk, David K Johnson, Jeffrey M. Burns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and cognitive decline in subjects diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Methods: Neuropsychologic and clinical evaluations were conducted at baseline, 6-months, and 1-year on 286 MCI subjects enrolled in the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. A global cognitive composite score was derived (mean Z-score) from performance on 9 neuropsychologic subtests. Height and weight were assessed at baseline and used to calculate BMI. Generalized estimating equations (linear and logistic) assessed the relationships of baseline BMI with cognitive outcomes, clinician judgment of "clinically significant decline" over 1-year, and diagnostic progression from MCI to Alzheimer disease. Results: Lower baseline BMI was associated with significant declines in cognitive performance in individuals with MCI over 1 year (Mini-Mental State Examination, Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive subscale, and a global cognitive composite; all P<0.05). We observed a significant protective effect of baseline BMI in reducing the risk of a clinically significant decline in Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive subscale and mini-mental state examination (P<0.05). No association was found between BMI and changes in the clinical dementia rating sum of boxes or conversion to Alzheimer disease. Conclusions: Lower baseline BMI is associated with more rapid cognitive decline in MCI. This relationship suggests either body composition may influence the rate of cognitive decline in MCI or factors related to MCI influence body composition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-130
Number of pages5
JournalAlzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer disease
  • Body composition
  • Body mass index
  • Body weight
  • Cognitive decline
  • Mild cognitive impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Body mass index and cognitive decline in mild cognitive impairment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this