The rehearses find that the a healthy lifestyle may help offset a person’s genetic risk of dementia, according to new research. The study was led by the University of Exeter simultaneously published today in JAMA and presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2019 in Los Angeles. Therefore The research found that the risk of dementia was 32% lower in people with a high genetic risk if they had followed a healthy lifestyle; but compared to those who had an unhealthy lifestyle.
Genetic risk of dementia
Participants with high genetic risk and an unfavourable lifestyle were almost three times more likely to develop dementia compared to those with a low risk and favourable lifestyle. Therefore Joint lead author Dr. El?bieta Ku?ma; at the University of Exeter Medical School; said: “This is the first study to analyse the extent to which you may offset your genetic risk of dementia by living a healthy lifestyle.
Our findings are exciting as they show that we can take action to try to offset our risk for dementia. Sticking to a healthy lifestyle is associate with a reduced risk of dementia; regardless of the genetic risk.” The study analysed data from 196,383 adults of European ancestry aged 60 and older from UK Biobank. The researchers identified 1,769 cases of dementia over a follow-up period of eight years. The team grouped the participants into those with high; intermediate and low genetic risk for dementia.
Low genetic risk for dementia
To assess genetic risk; the researchers looked at previously published data and identified all known risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. Each genetic risk factor was weighted according to the strength of its association with Alzheimer’s disease. To assess lifestyle; researchers grouped participants into favourable, intermediate and unfavourable categories based on their self-reported diet, physical activity; smoking and alcohol consumption.
The researchers considered no current smoking, regular physical activity, healthy diet and moderate alcohol consumption as healthy behaviours. The team found that living a healthy lifestyle was associated with a reduced dementia risk across all groups. A healthy diet is one that helps maintain or improve health. It is important for the prevention of many chronic diseases such as: obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Living a healthy lifestyle
A healthy diet involves consuming appropriate amounts all of the food groups, including an adequate amount of water. Nutrients can be obtained from many different foods, so there are a wide variety of healthy diets. Joint lead author Dr. David Llewellyn, from the University of Exeter Medical School and the Alan Turing Institute, said: “This research delivers a really important message that undermines a fatalistic view of dementia. Some people believe it’s inevitable they’ll develop dementia because of their genetics. However it appears that you may be able to substantially reduce your dementia risk by living a healthy lifestyle.”