Seven healthy habits to reduce risk of dementia – Cosmos

Seven healthy habits to reduce risk of dementia – Cosmos

Get an update of science stories delivered straight to your inbox.



Cosmos » News » Seven healthy habits to lower risk of dementia

Dementia is a debilitating disease, and Australia’s second biggest killer. While there is currently no cure, there are treatments to help improve the symptoms, but the best strategy is to try and prevent it from developing altogether.
Get an update of science stories delivered straight to your inbox.



The American Heart Association has identified seven cardiovascular and brain health factors, known as Life’s Simple 7:


While Life’s Simple 7 have been linked to lowering the risk of dementia overall, it has not been investigated whether this applies to people with high genetic risks. A 30-year study following over 11,000 people with mixed genetic risk scores (based on the APOE gene variant) from both European and African ancestries aims to provide some answers.


The average starting age was 54 years, with participants divided into eight different groups based on genetic risk scores. At the end of the study, 18% of people with European ancestry developed dementia, compared to 23% of people with African ancestry. This implies there may be a genetic risk factor linked to the risk of developing dementia.


For people with European ancestry, people with the highest scores in the lifestyle factors had the lowest risk of dementia, including the group with the highest genetic risk. Those with intermediate to high scores in healthy lifestyle factors had an associated 30-40% lower risk of dementia. For every lifestyle factor that was adhered to from the Life’s Simple 7, the risk of developing dementia decreased by 9%.


“These healthy habits in the Life’s Simple 7 have been linked to a lower risk of dementia overall, but it is uncertain whether the same applies to people with a high genetic risk,” says author Dr Adrienne Tin of the University of Mississippi Medical Centre (US). “The good news is that even for people who are at the highest genetic risk, living by this same healthier lifestyle means they are likely to have a lower risk of dementia.”


For people with African ancestry, the intermediate and high categories were associated with a 6-17% lower risk of dementia. Of those participants, 40% had at least one copy of the APOE gene variant, which is associated with Alzheimer’s disease, compared to 27.9% of people with European ancestry. A limitation of this study was the smaller number of participants with African ancestry, and that many of these participants were recruited from one location.


“Larger sample sizes from diverse populations are needed to get more reliable estimates of the effects of these modifiable health factors on dementia risk within different genetic risk groups and ancestral backgrounds,” Tin says.


This study has been published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. For more information about dementia, visit dementia.org.au (Australia) and BrainandLife.org (worldwide).



Originally published by Cosmos as Seven healthy habits to lower risk of dementia
Qamariya Nasrullah holds a PhD in evolutionary development from Monash University and an Honours degree in palaeontology from Flinders University.
There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.
Get an update of science stories delivered straight to your inbox.



‘Cosmos’ and ‘The Science of Everything’ are registered trademarks in Australia and the USA, and owned by The Royal Institution of Australia Inc.
T: 08 7120 8600 (Australia)
+61 8 7120 8600 (International)
Customer Service
9:00 am — 5:00 pm ACST
Monday to Friday
 
[email protected]
 
PO Box 3652,
Rundle Mall SA 5000, Australia
 
55 Exchange Place,
Adelaide SA 5000, Australia
Get an update of science stories delivered straight to your inbox.




source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.