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NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Combination of Healthy Lifestyle Traits May Reduce Alzheimer’s Risk

Two women sit smiling with water bottles in front of hand weights at a gym.

Combining more healthy lifestyle behaviors was associated with substantially lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study funded by NIA.

Combining more healthy lifestyle behaviors was associated with substantially lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease in a study that included data from nearly 3,000 research participants. Those who adhered to 4 or all of the 5 specified healthy behaviors were found to have a 60 percent lower risk of Alzheimer’s. The behaviors were physical activity, not smoking, light-to-moderate alcohol consumption, a high-quality diet and cognitive activities. 

Funded by NIA, the research was published in the June 17 online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

“This observational study provides more evidence on how a combination of modifiable behaviors may mitigate Alzheimer’s disease risk,” said NIA director Dr. Richard Hodes. “The findings strengthen the association between healthy behaviors and lower risk and add to the basis for controlled clinical trials to directly test the ability of interventions to slow or prevent development of Alzheimer’s disease.”

The research team reviewed data from two NIA-funded longitudinal study populations: The Chicago Health and Aging Project (CHAP) and the Memory and Aging Project (MAP). They selected participants from those studies who had data available on their diet, lifestyle factors, genetics and clinical assessments for Alzheimer’s disease. The resulting data pool included 1,845 participants from CHAP and 920 from MAP.

The NIH Record

The NIH Record, founded in 1949, is the biweekly newsletter for employees of the National Institutes of Health.

Published 25 times each year, it comes out on payday Fridays.

Associate Editor: Carla Garnett
Carla.Garnett@nih.gov

Staff Writers:

Eric Bock
Eric.Bock@nih.gov

Dana Talesnik
Dana.Talesnik@nih.gov

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