Alzheimer’s Disease is a condition that people are concerned about as they age. It is not a condition that can be prevented, at least not completely. However, researchers from the University of California have found that certain lifestyle factors do influence whether a person will develop Alzheimer’s Disease or not. This post identifies what the risk factors are, how race, ethnicity, and sex impact them, and what can be done to reduce risk.
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:
- Hearing loss
- High blood pressure in midlife
- Low educational attainment
- Midlife obesity
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 at 11.7%.
How Ethnicity, Sex, and Race Affects Risk
Researchers looked at risk factors by ethnicity and race, they found midlife obesity higher in African American and Hispanic study participants. Asian participants were the least likely to have risk factors related to Alzheimer’s
When it came to 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.
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. By changing those unhealthy habits, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease as well as other diseases and conditions may go down or slow disease progression. Research and clinical trials have found that participants who did aerobic exercise like walking or running on a treadmill had improved executive functioning.
Getting enough sleep at night, at least seven to eight hours per night, also helps reduce Alzheimer’s Risk by clearing amyloid from the brain.Researchers from the University of California have found that
Another way to prevent Alzheimer’s or slow its progression is to keep blood pressure in check. This reduces the risk of other health issues like stroke and heart disease.
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