According to a study, these 7 lifestyle choices lower dementia risk in persons with diabetes.

Seven healthy lifestyle practises, including getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night, working out often, and engaging in frequent social interaction, have all been linked to a lower incidence of dementia in type 2 diabetic individuals. The study’s results were released online in Neurology, the official publication of the American Academy of Neurology.

One in ten persons globally have type 2 diabetes, which is known to raise the risk of dementia, according to research author Yingli Lu, MD, PhD, of Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine in China. “We looked at whether adopting a variety of healthy lifestyle practises may reduce the risk of dementia and discovered that persons with diabetes who practised seven good lifestyle behaviours had a reduced chance of developing dementia than those who did not.

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Researchers selected 167,946 individuals aged 60 and older with and without diabetes who did not have dementia at the start of the trial by looking through a health care database in the United Kingdom. Participants donated blood samples, answered health questionnaires, and provided physical measures. Each of the seven good habits was worth one point in the researchers’ calculation of a healthy lifestyle score for each participant, which ranged from zero to seven. The following behaviours were observed: no current cigarette use, moderate alcohol consumption (up to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women), regular physical activity (at least 2.5 hours per week of moderate activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous activity), and seven to nine hours per day of sleep.

A balanced diet with more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish and less refined grains, processed meats, and unprocessed meats was another contributing factor. Living with others, getting together with friends or family at least once a month, and taking part in social activities at least once a week or more frequently were the final habits. Being less sedentary was defined as watching television for less than four hours per day, and frequent social contact as living with others, doing so.

Participants were monitored by researchers for an average of 12 years. Dementia struck 4,351 persons throughout the time. In all, 4% of the population practised only one to two good behaviours, 11% practised three, 22% practised four, 30% practised five, 24% practised six, and 9% practised all seven. People without diabetes who practised all seven healthy habits had a four-fold lower risk of dementia than those with diabetes who only practised two or fewer of the healthy behaviours. Those with diabetes who adhered to all the practises had a 74% higher risk of dementia than those without diabetes who did the same.

There were 21 dementia instances for every 7,474 person-years of diabetes patients who adhered to all the recommended behaviours, or 0.28%. Person-years are a measure of both the number of participants in the study and the duration of each participant’s participation. 72 dementia instances per 10,380 person-years, or 0.69%, were seen among diabetics who had two or fewer behaviours. People who adhered to all of the routines had a 54% reduced risk of dementia than those who followed two or fewer, even after accounting for variables including age, education, and ethnicity. An additional healthy behaviour that persons practised was linked to an 11% lower incidence of dementia.

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Medication use or blood sugar management did not have an impact on the relationship between healthy lifestyle score and dementia risk. According to our findings, adopting a better lifestyle can significantly lower the risk of dementia in adults with type 2 diabetes, Lu said. “Doctors and other medical professionals who treat diabetic patients have to think about advising lifestyle modifications to their clients. Such adjustments may not only enhance general health but also help diabetics postpone the onset of dementia or avoid it altogether.” The fact that participants in the study reported on their lifestyle choices presented a potential weakness in the study’s design. Additionally, changes in lifestyle over time were not recorded.

(Disclaimer: The material in this article is general in nature and is not intended to be a replacement for professional medical advice.  News Times declines to attest to this.)


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