The healthier your behaviour, the lower your risk
By Wendy Haaf
Leading a heart-healthy lifestyle is linked to a reduced risk for dementia, according to study results published in JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association.
The study, conducted in France, involved 6,626 adults over 65 whose lifestyles were weighed against seven heart-healthy behaviours:
- not smoking
- maintaining a healthy body weight
- exercising regularly
- eating a healthy diet, and
- maintaining healthy blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels without medications.
Participants were followed for 12 years. By the study’s end, 11% had developed dementia. However, with each heart-healthy trait, incidence dropped by 10%.
Among those with the fewest heart-healthy habits (zero or one), incidence of the brain condition was more than twice that of subjects with the most heart-healthy lifestyle factors (six to seven): approximately 18 in 1,000, compared with eight in 1,000.