Seven healthy habits reduce the risk of dementia
News » Health
A new study suggests that adopting seven healthy habits in middle age may help reduce the risk of dementia. The study, which involved women over 20 years, will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in Boston.
Experts have found that being active, eating right, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, maintaining normal blood pressure, controlling cholesterol levels, and low blood sugar can reduce the chance of developing diseases like Alzheimer's. Dementia — this is a group of symptoms that get worse over time and include memory loss, confusion, speech problems, and the need for help with daily living.
Pamela Rist, assistant professor at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, says: “Because we now know that dementia can start decades before diagnosis, it's important to learn more about how your middle-age habits can affect your health”
The study involved 13,720 women, whose average age at the start of the study was 54 years. 1,771 women, or 13 percent of the study participants, developed dementia. For each of the seven health factors, people scored zero for poor or “intermediate” health and one point for perfect health, for a total possible score of seven.
The mean score was 4.3 at baseline and 4.2 ten years later. After adjusting for factors such as age and education, the researchers found that for every one point increase in a score, a person's risk of developing dementia decreased by 6 percent.
“People may benefit from knowing that by taking steps such as exercising half an hour a day or controlling their blood pressure, they can reduce their risk of developing dementia,” – says Associate Professor Rist.
Susan Mitchell, head of Alzheimer's Research in the UK, explains: ”Dementia affects everyone, but women are much more likely to develop it than men. Regardless of our gender, we can all take simple steps to reduce our risk of dementia. In addition to keeping us active and taking care of our hearts, getting a good night's sleep, stressing our brains, and staying connected with the people around us can help reduce our chances of developing dementia.
“Although some risk factors such as age and genetics are beyond our control, this preliminary study confirms existing evidence that lifestyle factors play a role in dementia risk”,– adds Mitchell.
Follow us on Telegram