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Cognitive decline is less amongst older people with healthy lifestyles

An article in the newspapers this past week, draws attention to a massive and important study from China: Six lifestyle choices to slow memory decline named in 10-year study | Memory | The Guardian

The study is a population based project involving 29,072 people – 48.54% being women, who were first checked in 2009. It comes from China – The study follows these people up for 10 years. The sample is drawn from 96 sites chosen to be representative of the population and conditions in China. At onset their average age was 72.23 years. Cognition was measured using MMSE and the WHO Auditory Verbal Reading Test California Verbal Learning Test - Wikipedia

These tests were administered 2009, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2019.

The finding is that people with healthy life styles at baseline, were much less likely to develop cognitive loss, MC or Dementia in the follow up period. Health life style is defined by diet, regular physical exercise, active social contact, active cognitive activity, not smoking and never drinking. The protective effect of these combined factors was effective for people with and without APOEe4 gene.

Powerful evidence to encourage people to adopt a healthy life style from as early as is possible, including in later life. This will have benefit for brain health – and also for the function of other organs.

We can do that.

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