Seven healthy habits linked to lower risk of dementia in people at genetic risk – Eurasia Review

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According to research published in the online issue of Neurology®the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The seven factors for heart and brain health, known as the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7, are: be active, eat better, lose weight, don’t smoke, maintain healthy blood pressure, control cholesterol and lower blood sugar.

“These healthy habits in Life’s Simple 7 have been associated with a lower overall risk of dementia, but it is uncertain whether the same is true for people at high genetic risk,” the author said. of the study Adrienne Tin, PhD, of the University of Mississippi. Medical Center in Jackson. “The good news is that even for those most at genetic risk, who live this same healthier lifestyle are likely to have a lower risk of dementia.”

The study involved 8,823 people of European descent and 2,738 people of African descent who were followed for 30 years. The people had an average age of 54 at the start of the study.

Study participants reported their levels in all seven health factors. Total scores ranged from 0 to 14, with 0 representing the unhealthiest score and 14 representing the healthiest score. The average score among those of European ancestry was 8.3 and the average score among those of African ancestry was 6.6.

The researchers calculated genetic risk scores at the start of the study using genome-wide statistics for Alzheimer’s disease, which were used to study genetic risk for dementia.

Participants of European ancestry were divided into five groups and those of African ancestry were divided into three groups based on genetic risk scores. The group with the highest genetic risk included people who had at least one copy of the APOE gene variant associated with Alzheimer’s disease, APOE e4. Among those of European ancestry, 27.9% had the APOE e4 variant, while among those of African ancestry, 40.4% had the APOE e4 variant. The lowest risk group had the APOE e2 variant, which was associated with a decreased risk of dementia.

At the end of the study, 1,603 people of European descent developed dementia and 631 people of African descent developed dementia.

For people of European ancestry, the researchers found that people with the highest scores in lifestyle factors had a lower risk of dementia in all five genetic risk groups, including the group with the highest genetic risk for dementia. For every one point increase in the Lifestyle Factor score, the risk of developing dementia was reduced by 9%. Among people of European ancestry, compared to the low Lifestyle Factor Score category, the middle and high categories were associated with a 30% and 43% lower risk of dementia, respectively. Among people of African descent, the intermediate and high categories were associated with a 6% and 17% lower risk of dementia, respectively.

Among people of African descent, the researchers found a similar pattern of decreased dementia risk in all three groups among those who had higher scores on lifestyle factors. But the researchers said the smaller number of participants in this group limited the results, so more research is needed.

“Larger sample sizes from diverse populations are needed to obtain more reliable estimates of the effects of these modifiable health factors on dementia risk within different genetic risk groups and ancestral backgrounds,” Tin said.

A limitation of the study was the smaller sample size among people of African descent and the fact that many African American participants were recruited from one location.

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