A meta-analysis suggests that two-thirds of Alzheimer's cases may be affected by nine specific lifestyle choices.
The factors include obesity, depression, frailty, low educational attainment, carotid artery narrowing, high levels of homocysteine, high blood pressure and — among those of Asian descent — being a smoker or having type 2 diabetes.
However, the researchers have cautioned that the study shows merely an association between these factors and Alzheimer's, not direct causation.
The strongest factors that were associated with protection against Alzheimer's included coffee, anti-inflammation medication, vitamins C and E, folate, statins, blood pressure medications and estrogen supplementation.
Overall, even if there isn't an easy way to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's, all signs says a healthy lifestyle does matter.
- "The findings are relentlessly commonsensical: Many of the usual suspects that we already know are good for our health — exercise, heart-healthy diet, sleep, weight and blood pressure control — also appear to help fend off Alzheimer’s."
- "The implication: Taking steps to minimize or eliminate such conditions might reduce the long-term risk for developing Alzheimer's, a brain disorder that affects memory and thinking. It is the most common form of dementia among seniors."
This segment aired on August 24, 2015.