In a person, a healthy lifestyle may be a key to lower the risk of dementia. A study published in JAMA explains a few benefits of a healthy lifestyle. It shows how one can reduce his/her chance of dementia despite the genetic risk.
Effect of one’s lifestyle on dementia
Dementia is a group of symptoms. It indicates a decline in one’s mental ability to the point that it affects the tasks of daily life.
A few symptoms of dementia are:
- Memory loss
- Decreased visual abilities
- Decreased ability to focus
- Difficulty in solving problems
- Improper behavior
A healthy lifestyle defines what a person should do if he wants to feel good and looks better. For having a healthy lifestyle, one should exercise daily, quit alcohol and smoking, and keep a healthy weight.
It also involves eating a balanced diet, having a variety and a lot of vegetables, fruits, and fibers. Doing all tasks in moderation is also a part of a healthy lifestyle.
A healthy lifestyle is a key to lower the risk of dementia. Moreover, it has many other benefits. It can reduce stress and depression and improve mood and memory.
It can also minimize the risk of many other diseases like CVDs, diabetes, and obesity. The research shows that a healthy lifestyle can lower the risk of dementia by 32% in people with a high genetic risk.
On the other hand, a poor lifestyle can increase the chances of dementia. It includes poor diet intake, smoking, alcohol use, and low intake of vitamin D, B6, B12, and B9.
Relation of lifestyle and genetics with dementia
The research team compared two groups of people. The first group was having a poor lifestyle and a high genetic risk.
On the other hand, the second group had a low genetic risk and a healthy lifestyle. The research team observed that in the first group, the risk of dementia was three times more than the second group.
It was the first study to check the extent to which one can lower the genetic risk of dementia by changing the lifestyle. The team assessed the data of 196,383 adults. These adults were of 60 years and older.
On follow up for eight years, the research team diagnosed 1796 adults with dementia. The team has classified these adults into three groups.
The groups were having a high, intermediate and low genetic risk of dementia. To evaluate genetic risk, the team weighed all known risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease.
And they also assessed the risk factors according to their strength of association with the disease. The risk factors may include age, race, family history, diabetes, and CVD.
Also read- Symptoms You May Be Having Dementia
For lifestyle, the team scored the adults based on their dietary intake, activity level, smoking and use of alcohol.
Then, using these scores, they classified the adults as having a favorable, intermediate and unfavorable lifestyle. Later, the team found that a healthy lifestyle decreases the risk of dementia across all risk groups.
Some people think that they will surely get dementia because of their genetic risk. On the contrary, the results of the study show that living a healthy lifestyle is key to lower the risk of dementia despite the genetic risk.