Do you have a genetic susceptibility to dementia? This study provides evidence on how to prevent it, despite your genes.
A study including nearly 8,823 participants (~54 years of age) of European and African ancestry investigated the relationship between 7 healthy lifestyle factors and dementia. The lifestyle factors include activity level, healthy diet, weight loss, non-smoker status, healthy blood pressure, controlled cholesterol levels and reduced blood sugar. After a 30 year follow-up period:
- People with the highest (ie. the best) scores across each lifestyle factor had a decreased risk for dementia independent of their genetic profile.
The Hearty Take
At Hearty, we believe that your genes are not your destiny, as the cliché goes. A healthy lifestyle is conducive to dementia prevention. Activity, diet, healthy weight, cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as good blood sugar regulation and steering clear of cigarettes are all pieces of disease prevention. These positive lifestyle behaviors interact with our genes, increasing the expression of beneficial genes – this is known as 'epigenetics'. We also want to acknowledge that this study is limited in sample and population size. Curious to know your genetic risk of dementia? Get your genetics tested!