A healthy lifestyle is linked to more years without Alzheimer’s disease, according to research published in the British Medical Journal. Participants from the Chicago Health and Aging Project adopted healthy lifestyle factors, including a better diet and physical activity, and reported on life expectancy and dementia incidence rates. A healthy diet was defined by eating more foods like green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, berries, beans, and whole grains and by eating less red meat, butter, cheese, and fried foods. These factors were associated with a longer life expectancy in both men and women. Those who followed four or five healthy lifestyle factors lived 10% of their later years with dementia when compared to 19% in those who followed one or no lifestyle factors. These results may help policy makers and clinicians plan health care services that better address the needs of older patients.
Dhana K, Franco OH, Ritz EM, et al. Healthy lifestyle and life expectancy with and without Alzheimer’s dementia: population based cohort study. BMJ. 2022;377:e068390-e068399. doi: 10.1136/bmj-2021-068390