Five Healthy Lifestyle Choices Tied to Dramatic Decreases in Dementia Risk
Combining four of five healthy lifestyle choices has been linked to up to a 60% reduced risk for Alzheimer dementia in new research that strengthens ties between healthy behaviors and lower dementia risk.
Neurology. Published online June 17, 2020. Abstract
To help quantify the impact of a healthy life on risk for Alzheimer dementia, Dhana and colleagues reviewed data from two longitudinal study populations: the Chicago Health and Aging Project (CHAP), with 1845 participants; and the Memory and Aging Project (MAP), with 920 participants.
They defined a healthy lifestyle score on the basis of the following factors: not smoking; engaging in ≥150 min/wk of physical exercise of moderate to vigorous intensity; light to moderate alcohol consumption (between 1 and <15 g/day for women and between 1 and <30 g/day for men); consuming a high-quality Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay diet (upper 40%); and engaging in late-life cognitive activities (upper 40%). The overall score ranged from 0 to 5.
Of note, he added, although addressing vascular risk factors such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes “may require an extensive mindful and logistic effort, leading a healthy diet is effortlessly achieved in some countries, where both the DASH and MIND diets do not need to be ‘prescribed’ but are rather culturally engraved in the population.