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Natural Awakenings National

Healthy Choices Mitigate Cognitive Health Reduction

Couple in kitchen with wife holding plate of healthy food and feeding some to husband

mikhail nilov/

A Chinese study of 6,160 adults 80 or older found that a healthy lifestyle cuts the risk of cognitive impairment by half, even if a person carries the APOE ε4 gene that is linked to cognitive loss and Alzheimer’s. Researchers used data from the ongoing Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey to determine the eating, exercising and smoking habits of subjects. They found that those with healthy lifestyles were 55 percent less likely to be cognitively impaired and those with intermediately healthy lifestyles lowered their risk 28 percent. This reduction was greater than the increased risk of cognitive impairment resulting from the APOE ε4 gene, which was 17 percent.

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