Faculty of Public Health - Andalas University - OCS, 13th IEA SEA Meeting and ICPH - SDev

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Body Mass Index and Cognitive Function in Indonesian Elderly
Yeni Mahwati

Last modified: 2018-08-18



Overweight and obesity were now considered as serious health problems, with an increasing prevalence worldwide. The causal role of BMI as a risk factor for cognition impairment among elderly population in Indonesia has rarely been investigated. The objectives of this study were to examine the association between the body mass index (BMI) and cognition level.

Materials and methods

Data were taken from the fifth wave of the Indonesian Family Life Survey (IFLS). Multiple linear regression analysis were performed to quantify the associations between the body mass index  and cognitive function.



A total 2,825 aged ≥ 60 were recruited that provided complete data. The results showed that BMI had a statistically significant positive association with cognition (β=0.050[0.013], p ≤ 0.05); age (β=-0.039[0.114], p ≤ 0.05); education level (β=1.688[0.091], p ≤ 0.05); were significantly associated factors for cognitive function.



The presence of obesity was associated to higher cognition levels. Higher levels of education were associated with higher cognitive performance, while age was associated with lower cognition. Indonesia should place more emphasis on education, to continued efforts to tackle the double burden of malnutrition in order to prevent cognitive impairment among elderly.



The authors thank RAND for providing the access to the survey data. The authors are grateful to the study participants who participated in the survey.


Keywords :  Body mass index, Cognitive function, Elderly

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