HealthDay News — A healthy lifestyle is associated with a reduced risk for Alzheimer dementia, according to a study published online June 17 in Neurology.

Klodian Dhana, M.D., Ph.D., from the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago, and colleagues used data from 1,845 participants of the Chicago Health and Aging Project (CHAP) and 920 from the Rush Memory and Aging Project (MAP) to quantify the impact of a healthy lifestyle on Alzheimer dementia risk. A healthy lifestyle score (0 to 5) was defined on the basis of nonsmoking, ≥150 minutes/week moderate- or vigorous-intensity physical activity, light to moderate alcohol consumption, high-quality Mediterranean DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay diet, and engagement in late-life cognitive activities.

The researchers found that 379 and 229 participants had incident Alzheimer dementia during a median follow-up of 5.8 and 6.0 years in CHAP and MAP, respectively. The pooled hazard ratio of Alzheimer dementia across the two cohorts was 0.73 per additional healthy lifestyle factor in multivariable-adjusted models. Compared with participants with zero to one healthy lifestyle factors, those with two to three and four to five healthy lifestyle factors had 37 and 60 percent lower risks for Alzheimer dementia (pooled hazard ratios, 0.63 and 0.40, respectively).

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“From a public health perspective, promoting healthy lifestyle behaviors is a feasible strategy that is likely to have a significant impact on dementia prevention and cardiovascular-related conditions,” the authors write.

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