How Lifestyle Factors Dictate Alzheimer’s Risk

There are certain lifestyle factors that may lead to the development of conditions as people age. Alzheimer’s Disease is one of those conditions. While it is not completely preventable, a new study was conducted by researchers at the University of California. This post discusses the study, which demographics of the population are at risk, and what can be done to reduce those risks.

displeased senior man with alzheimer disease holding photo album
Waiting for the appointment

Progress in Alzheimer’s Research

There is still a lot to learn about Alzheimer’s Disease. But researchers are making progress in understanding it. A decade after discovering that one in every three cases was related to risk factors that could be modified, the same researchers gained further insight into the condition. The original modified factors were things like smoking and a lack of physical activity. Updated insights now show that modifiable factors for Alzheimer’s can vary depending upon race, age, and ethnicity.

Among the cases that were studied, researchers found that there were eight lifestyle factors that could be tied to Alzheimer’s Disease. They include the previous risk factors as well as:

            Depression

            Hearing loss

            High blood pressure in midlife

            Low educational attainment

            Midlife obesity

            Diabetes

Of these risk factors, midlife obesity was the most common association at 17.7%, followed by physical activity at 11.8%, and low educational attainment.

How Ethnicity, Sex, and Race Affects Risk

When researchers at the University of California looked at how these risks were broken down according to specific factors, they found distinctions. African American and Hispanic study participants had a risk factor of midlife obesity. Asian participants were the least likely to have risk factors related to Alzheimer’s

 In terms of gender, men seemed to have the most risk factors related to Alzheimer’s. However, more than half of those currently living with the condition are women. Men may have more risk factors than women because they had high blood pressure and smoke more often than women. In contrast, women are more likely to have depression.

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What Can Be Done to Prevent Alzheimer’s?

 The risk factors in this research study found that some
Alzheimer’s cases were linked to unhealthy habits. One way to help reduce the
risk of Alzheimer’s disease is to modify these risk factors. Exercising for at
least 30 minutes, three to four times a week is one way to
address the lack of physical activity.


Being mindful of your diet can help reduce things like obesity, high blood
pressure, and diabetes. Diets like the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes the
inclusion of most foods without too much red meat, is an example. Other diets
may work just as well, depending upon your preferences and existing health
concerns.

Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Improving your sleep
helps prevent Alzheimer’s because better sleep improves amyloid clearance from
the brain. Connecting socially may help as well, but its effect with regard to
Alzheimer’s prevention is still being studied.

Learning new things is also something that is thought to help
prevent Alzheimer’s Disease. However, these are usually tasks that are learned,
as opposed to improving thinking skills and activities of daily living.

Making lifestyle changes to improve conditions and overall
health is an important part of the work a home health care team does. At Voyager Home Health
Care,
we help patients in the Pueblo, CO area, regain their
independence and make healthier lifestyle choices through education. To learn
more about the services we provide, reach out to us today at (719)-401-5654!

The Best Home Health Provider

Home health nurses, therapists, aides, and social workers do a lot to help patients who need home
health services for support and monitoring. To learn more about how Voyager Home Health helps
patients in the Denver, CO, area, reach out to us today at (719)-401-5654.

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