Healthy lifestyle reduces risk of dementia

In a recent editorial article published on Thursday, 1 April in the BMJ Clinical Evidence journal, researchers from the University of Edinburgh, suggest that having a healthy lifestyle mid-life is likely to help stave off dementia in later life.

The researchers suggest that modification of various risk factors at an appropriate stage (i.e., early enough in life to have an effect) is everybody’s business, and primary and secondary healthcare professionals, health promotion bodies, the voluntary sector, and even employers, will have to play a part for a national reduction in dementia incidence to occur.

In association with the Alzheimer’s Society, the BBC hosted a dementia panel discussion on the 6th January 2010 entitled “Smart Thinking: Cheating Dementia“, which discussed the evidence for these risk factors. They highlighted the four most important areas to tackle with a view to minimising the risk of developing dementia as:

  • increasing levels of exercise (across all age groups)
  • reducing midlife obesity
  • bringing blood pressure to optimal levels in midlife
  • reducing cholesterol in midlife