Correlation between Body Mass Index (BMI) and Performance on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) in a Cohort of Adult Women in South Africa

Antonio G. Lentoor*, Lezani Myburgh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective. Recent evidence suggests that obesity is increasing worldwide and may negatively impact neurocognition. Local studies on the association of weight status with neurocognitive function are sparse. This study is aimed at examining the association between body mass index (BMI) and neurocognitive functioning scores in a cohort of adult women. Methods. A convenience sample of 175 women aged 18 to 59 years (28.03±8.87) recruited in a community-based quantitative study completed the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). The BMI metric was used to measure body fat based on weight and height and was stratified as high BMI (overweight or obese) or low BMI (normal weight). The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was used to assess depression. Pearson's correlation analysis and the student's t-test analysis were performed. Results. We observed a significant inverse association between BMI and performance on MoCA (r173=-0.32, p<0.001). Performance on subtest of attention, memory, constructive abstraction, and executive functions significantly and inversely correlated with BMI. Significantly lower scores on the MoCA were found in women with a high BMI compared to women with a low BMI (23±4 vs. 26±3), t173=4.12, p<0.0001). Conclusions. BMI and MoCA were inversely associated on both global and domain-specific neurocognitive test of attention, memory, and executive function; key neurocognitive control; and regulatory functions underlying behavior and decision-making. The findings provide a rationale for further research into the long-term effects of BMI on neurocognition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8994793
JournalBehavioural Neurology
Volume2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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