When it comes to a healthy lifestyle, the most current advice is perhaps the kind that begins with ‘clean eating’, adding more fresh and seasonal vegetables and fruits, cutting on processed foods like sugar, and daily exercising. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle comes with various health benefits and one of them is that it offsets a person’s genetic risk of dementia, as per findings of a new study. The study, published in the journal ‘JAMA’, found that the risk of dementia lowers by 32 percent in people with a high genetic risk if they follow a healthy lifestyle, in comparison to those who have a sedentary lifestyle.
It was observed that people with high genetic risk and an unhealthy lifestyle were almost three times more likely to develop dementia, in comparison to their counterparts with low genetic risk and favourable lifestyle. “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 genetic risk for dementia. Sticking to a healthy lifestyle was associated with a reduced risk of dementia, regardless of the genetic risk,” said Dr Elzbieta Kuzma, study’s lead author.
For the study, Dr Elzbieta Kuzma and team analysed data from almost two hundred thousand adults of European ancestry, aged 60 and above. The team identified seventeen hundred cases of dementia over a follow-up period of eight years. Researchers grouped the participants into two groups: first -high, intermediate, and second – low genetic risk for dementia.