Heart-healthy lifestyle in old age tied to lower dementia risk

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According to a recent study, seniors who lead a heart healthy lifestyle may be less likely to develop dementia. During the month of February, when heart health is top of mind, let’s take a closer look at this article in Reuters, telling us why healthy hearts are less likely to develop dementia.

Older adults who take care of their heart may be less likely to develop dementia than people who don’t focus on heart health, a French study suggests.

Researchers focused on seven recommendations from the American Heart Association (AHA) for optimal cardiovascular health: not smoking; regularly exercising; routinely eating fish, fruits, and vegetables; avoiding excess weight; and keeping blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels within a healthy range.

For an average of 8.5 years, they followed 6,626 people age 65 or older who didn’t have dementia at the start. During the study, 745 people, or about 11 percent, developed dementia.

With each additional heart-healthy recommendation they met, people were 10 percent less likely to develop dementia, researchers found.