Maintaining a healthy heart may also keep dementia at bay, according to a new review in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
A team from the University of Michigan Medical School found that high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and sedentary habits could slowly be wearing down the brain in a process called mixed dementia.
Mixed dementia is a combination of Alzheimer's disease and a gradual cognitive decline caused by mini-strokes in the brain.
The study's authors were examining articles and evidence published over the past ten years for a new treatment for mixed dementia when stumbling upon the findings.
They also found that treating cardiovascular problems could work better than Alzheimer's drugs to slow the advance of symptoms.
Dr. Ken Langa, co-author of the study said: "You could get a bigger bang for the buck when you treat cardiovascular risk factors."