Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Approximately 50 million people have dementia worldwide, and that number is expected to triple by 2050, according to the 2018 World Alzheimer Report. The global cost of dementia in 2018 was roughly $1 trillion, a figure projected to double by 2030. But a study presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Los Angeles this past weekend has some crucial suggestions to limit a person's likelihood on developing the condition by 60%.
The Rush University Medical Center in Chicago followed 2,765 individuals over the span of about a decade, tracking their lifestyle and behavior choices. They assessed study participants’ lifestyles on five metrics: their diet, their exercise regimen, whether they smoked, their alcohol consumption and their “engagement in cognitive stimulation activities.” The researchers were expecting positive results for those that made healthier choices, but they were simply "astounded" by the magnitude of the results. Individuals who ate a “high-quality diet," performed at least 150 minutes of exercise per week, did not smoke, limited themselves to one alcoholic beverage per day, and stimulated their brain two to three times a week were found to develop dementia 60% less than those that did none of these activities, or even just one of them.
The average ages of the participants were between 73 and 81, and contained both males and females as well as blacks and non-Hispanic whites. The study did not find any variances depending on race or gender.
See Hannah Nattanson, Doing These Five Things Could Decrease your Risk of Alzheimer’s by 60%, New Study Says, Washington Post, July 14, 2019.
Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, D.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.