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Introduction: The metabolic syndrome and its individual components are known to have a negative impact on cognitive function in older persons [1]. Recently published work from the Whitehall II cohort found no difference in a cognitive score between the MH and MU obese subjects in early old age but did find a difference for the normal and overweight groups [2]. We investigated the TILDA cohort to determine the association between metabolic health and cognitive outcomes within each BMI category.

Methods: Sampling and data collection for TILDA has previously been described. Metabolically individuals were defined using cut-points adapted from the International Diabetes Federation consensus definition of the metabolic syndrome, 2006. Regression analysis was performed to compare outcomes of cognitive function. Age, gender, BMI, educational level and smoking status were identified as confounders for inclusion in the regression model.

Results: The cohort consisted of a stratified clustered sample of 8,175 individuals' representative of the community-living Irish population aged 50 years and over. The MH and MU groups had no significant differences in cognitive outcomes within the underweight, normal weight or overweight categories. For the obese group, the MH group had significantly better recall outcomes compared with their MU counterparts.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that metabolic health does not have a significant effect on baseline cognitive outcomes when analysed by BMI category, except in the obese. Longitudinal data will provide information of the cognitive trajectories of these groups.


1. Raffaitin C, Feart C, Le Goff M, et al.Neurology 2011; 76: 518–25.

2. Singh-Manoux A, Cernichoz S, Elbaz A, et al. Neurology 2012; 79: 755–62

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