Healthy lifestyles may protect against dementia, if you don’t have high-risk genes

In a new study, researchers found that healthy habits are linked to a lower risk of being diagnosed with dementia over 15 years in people at low or intermediate genetic risks.

However, for people who carried high-risk genes, a healthy lifestyle might not reduce the odds of developing dementia.

The research was done by a team from Erasmus MC–University Medical Center Rotterdam.

The team examined 6,352 people aged 55 years and older and focused on both lifestyle factors and genetic factors of dementia.

They found those with healthy habits had a lower risk of being diagnosed with dementia over the next 15 years.

The effect was true for people at low or intermediate genetic risk of dementia.

But in people who had a high genetic risk of dementia, there was no evidence that lifestyle decreased the risk of developing dementia.

The team says the findings are different from previous results, which showed that lifestyle choices do, in fact, make a difference for people at high genetic risk for dementia.

It is possible that the age of the study participants caused the differences.

In the study, participants were about 69 years old, on average, when their lifestyle habits were measured.

Maybe their healthy habits earlier in life helped to counter a high genetic risk for dementia.

The team suggests that people may need to develop healthy habits now instead of later. They can get many health benefits from a healthy lifestyle, including better heart and brain health.

The lead author of the study is Silvan Licher.

The study is published in Nature Medicine.

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