Living a healthy lifestyle may help offset a person’s genetic risk of dementia, according to new research. The study was led by the University of Exeter – simultaneously published in JAMA and presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2019 in Los Angeles. The research found that the risk of dementia was 32% lower in people with a high genetic risk if they had followed a healthy lifestyle, compared to those who had an unhealthy lifestyle.
Participants with high genetic risk and an unfavorable lifestyle were almost three times more likely to develop dementia compared to those with a low genetic risk and favourable lifestyle.
Joint lead Author Dr Elzbieta Kuzma, at the University of Exeter Medical School, said: “This is the first study to analyse the extent to which you may offset your genetic risk of dementia by living a healthy lifestyle. Our findings are exciting as they show that we can take action to try to offset our genetic risk for dementia. Sticking to a healthy lifestyle was associated with a reduced risk of dementia, regardless of the genetic risk.”