Five Healthy Lifestyle Choices Tied to Dramatic Decreases in Dementia Risk

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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


Risk-Modifying Behaviors

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.

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