The combination of obesity and sarcopenia, defined as sarcopenic obesity, may contribute to cognitive decline more than the two conditions exist solely. This study aimed to investigate the risk of cognitive impairment associated with the sarcopenia, obesity, and its combination among elderly hypertensive individuals.Design and Method:
A total of 348 elderly hypertensive subjects (175 men and 173 women, 69.5 ± 2.9 years of age), was enrolled in this study. We evaluated the cognitive functioning of individuals based on the 12-signs version of the Observations List for early signs of Dementia (OLD). Bioelectrical impedance analysis was performed to estimate appendicular skeletal muscle mass (ASM). A value of ASM was normalized for height and conversed to an ASM index.Results:
Subject with an ASM index of less than the gender-specific lowest quartiles was classified as sarcopenic. Obesity was defined as waist circumference greater than 85 cm for men and 90 cm for women. Based on the cutoffs, four categorical groups were created as solely sarcopenic (sarcopenic non-obese), solely obese (non-sarcopenic obese), sarcopenic obese, and normal. The OLD score was highest (namely, cognitive functioning was lowest) among the sarcopenic obese group (5.3 ± 0.7 points), followed by non-sarcopenic obese group (3.3 ± 0.2 points), the sarcopenic non-obese group (3.4 ± 0.3 points), and normal group (2.8 ± 0.2 points) after adjusting for confounding factors (p for trend <.001). When a cognitive decline was defined as the OLD score of 5 points or above, 25.9% of the subjects met the criteria. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that the sarcopenic obese condition was significantly associated with the increased risk for cognitive decline (odds ratio, 4.0; 95% CI, 1.3–12.0; P<.05), independent of age, gender, education level, and use of anti-hypertensive agents.Conclusions:
In elderly hypertensive individuals, the combination of obesity and sarcopenia may contribute to the acceleration of cognitive decline relative to the condition that they exist solely.