A new study has suggested that getting more exercise and living healthier in midlife could reduce a person's risk of Alzheimer's as they age.
The findings are the result of an investigation by researchers at the Cooper Clinic in the US, who analysed more than 19,000 patients between 1999 and 2007.
Using their medical records, the team assessed their health and general fitness, with the average gap between the first set of useable data and the most recent was 24 years. This means the scientists were able to see how their lifestyles affected their health in old age.
It was revealed that patients with a lower body mass index, cholesterol level and alcohol consumption in their forties and fifties were less likely to develop Alzheimer's or other dementias.
Dr Janet Berry, co-author of the study, said: "The fear of dementia in later life is real, and the possibility that exercise earlier in life can lower that risk is an important public health message."
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