Central obesity, cardiometabolic risk, and cognitive change in the study of latinos - Investigation of neurocognitive aging

Ariana M. Stickel, Wassim Tarraf, Kevin A. Gonzalez, Carmen R. Isasi, Robert Kaplan, Linda C. Gallo, Donglin Zeng, Jianwen Cai, Amber Pirzada, Martha L. Daviglus, Zachary T. Goodman, Neil Schneiderman, Hector M. González

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: The relationships between obesity and cognitive decline in aging are mixed and understudied among Hispanics/Latinos. Objective: To understand associations between central obesity, cognitive aging, and the role of concomitant cardiometabolic abnormalities among Hispanics/Latinos. Methods: Participants included 6,377 diverse Hispanics/Latinos enrolled in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) and SOL-Investigation for Neurocognitive Aging (SOL-INCA). Participants were 45 years and older at the first cognitive testing session (Visit 1). Cognitive outcomes (z-score units) included global composite and domain specific (learning, memory, executive functioning, processing speed) measures at a second visit (SOL-INCA, on average, 7 years later), and 7-year change. We used survey linear regression to examine associations between central obesity (waist circumference≥88 cm and≥102 cm for women and men, respectively) and cognition. We also tested whether the relationships between obesity and cognition differed by cardiometabolic status (indication of/treatment for 2+of the following: high triglycerides, hypertension, hyperglycemia, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol). Results: Central obesity was largely unassociated with cognitive outcomes, adjusting for covariates. However, among individuals with central obesity, cardiometabolic abnormality was linked to poorer cognitive function at SOL-INCA (ΔGlobalCognition=-0.165, p<0.001) and to more pronounced cognitive declines over the average 7 years (ΔGlobalCognition=-0.109, p<0.05); this was consistent across cognitive domains. Conclusion: Central obesity alone was not associated with cognitive function. However, presence of both central obesity and cardiometabolic abnormalities was robustly predictive of cognition and 7-year cognitive declines, suggesting that in combination these factors may alter the cognitive trajectories of middle-aged and older Hispanics/Latinos.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1203-1218
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021


  • Aging
  • cardiometabolic risk factors
  • cognition
  • diabetes mellitus
  • Hispanics
  • hyperlipidemias
  • hypertension
  • Latinos
  • obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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