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Healthy Lifestyle May Protect from Dementia

Healthy Lifestyle May Protect from Dementia

Wednesday, 17 July, 2019 - 06:00
People jog during a warm day in Central Park, New York. © Reuters
London - Asharq Al-Awsat
Living healthily with a good diet and regular exercise may help people with a higher genetic susceptibility to dementia to offset the risk of developing it.

According to the study published in the medical journal JAMA, the risk of dementia was reduced by 32% in people with a high genetic risk if they had followed a healthy lifestyle, compared to those who had an unhealthy lifestyle.

People with high genetic risk and an unhealthy lifestyle were almost three times more likely to develop dementia than those with low genetic risk who also lived healthily, Reuters reported.

Elzbieta Kuzma, a researcher at Britain's University of Exeter who co-authored the study, said: "Our findings are exciting as they show that we can take action to try to offset our genetic risk for dementia."

Dementia affects around 50 million people globally, with nearly 10 million new cases annually; a figure that is set to triple by 2050, according to the World Health Organization.

David Llewellyn, also of Exeter University, said the findings held an important message that undermined what he described as "a fatalistic view of dementia," adding that "Some people believe it's inevitable they'll develop dementia because of their genetics. But you may be able to substantially reduce your dementia risk by living a healthy lifestyle."

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