The 10-year study identifies six healthy lifestyle behaviors that help slower memory decline. They include regular physical exercise, healthy diet, cognitive activity, limited amount of alcohol, active social contact, and not smoking.

According to a recent study, involving nearly 30,000 older adults over the course of more than a decade, practicing six key healthy lifestyle factors has been found to significantly reduce memory loss in old age. 

The research highlights that older adults who engage in between four and six of these healthy lifestyle behaviors can significantly reduce their risk of developing dementia, even if they carry genes that make them more susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease.

Objective of the 10-Year Study

The recent research was aimed to quantify the impact of several healthy lifestyle factors on age-related memory decline among the elderly population. 

The objective of the study was to gain an understanding of how certain lifestyle factors can affect the slowing of memory decline in old age.

What Does the Study Say?

  • The study evaluated the impact of six healthy lifestyle factors on age-related memory decline among the elderly population. 
  • The factors assessed include: adherence to a healthy diet (meeting the recommended intake of at least 7 of 12 eligible food items), regular physical exercise (performing at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity per week), active social contact (engaging in social activities at least twice per week), active cognitive activity (engaging in cognitive activities at least twice per week), never smoking or being a previous smoker, and never consuming alcohol.
  •  Participants were categorized into three groups based on their adherence to healthy lifestyle factors. The group with the most favorable lifestyle habits were those who practiced four to six healthy lifestyle factors. Participants who practiced two to three healthy lifestyle factors were classified as the average group. Lastly, those who had zero to one healthy lifestyle factor were classified as the unfavorable group.

The study has revealed that individuals in the favorable lifestyle group demonstrated a significant reduction in memory decline over a decade, in comparison to participants in average or unfavorable groups. 

Furthermore, the research found that those in the favorable lifestyle group were 90% less likely to be diagnosed with dementia during the 10-year study period, as opposed to those in the unfavorable group.