PhysioUpdate 19th April 2022


Healthy lifestyle findings could help professionals and policymakers plan future health care

Men and women who adopt a healthy lifestyle appear to have a longer life expectancy and to live a larger proportion of their remaining years without Alzheimer’s disease. 

That is the conclusion of a paper written by a team based in the US and Switzerland and led by Klodian Dhana, from the department of internal medicine in the division of geriatrics and palliative medicine at Rush Medical College in Chicago. It was published in The BMJ today (13 April). Dr Dhona and colleagues analysed the potential impact of a healthy lifestyle on the number of years spent living with – and without – Alzheimer’s.

They analysed data gathered from 2,449 participants aged from 65 years upwards (average age 76). The participants did not have a history of dementia and came from the Chicago Health and Aging Project (CHAP). 

A Mediterranean-DASH Diet is rich in whole grains, green leafy vegetables and berries

Mediterranean-DASH Diet

The participants, who completed detailed diet and lifestyle questionnaires, were given a healthy lifestyle score. This was developed from the following factors:

  • a hybrid Mediterranean-DASH Diet (a diet rich in whole grains, green leafy vegetables and berries and low in fast/fried food and red meats)
  • cognitively stimulating activities in later life (such as reading, visiting museums or doing crosswords)
  • at least 150 minutes a week of physical activity
  • not smoking
  • low to moderate alcohol consumption

For each lifestyle factor, participants received a score of 1 if they met the criteria for healthy, and 0 if they did not. Scores from five lifestyle factors were summed to yield a final score ranging 0 to 5. A higher score indicated a healthier lifestyle.

After taking account of other potentially influential factors, including age, sex, ethnicity and education, the researchers found that, on average, the total life expectancy at age 65 in women and men with a healthy lifestyle was 24.2 and 23.1 years, respectively. But for women and men with a less healthy lifestyle, life expectancy was shorter – 21.1 and 17.4 years respectively.

For women and men with a healthy lifestyle, 10.8 per cent (2.6 years) and 6.1 per cent (1.4 years) of the remaining years were lived with Alzheimer’s respectively, compared to 19.3 per cent (4.1 years) and 12 per cent (2.1 years) for study participants with a less healthy lifestyle. At age 85, these differences were even more notable.

This investigation suggests that a prolonged life expectancy owing to a healthy lifestyle is not accompanied by living [longer] with Alzheimer’s dementia ... [the findings] could help health professionals, policy makers, and stakeholders to plan future healthcare services, costs, and needs [Klodian Dhana et al.]

Study limitations

While the study was population-based with long-term follow-up, this was an observational study, and therefore cannot establish cause. Other limitations highlighted by Dr Dhona and colleagues include the following: lifestyles were self-reported (possibly leading to measurement error) and their estimates should not be generalised to other populations without additional research and validation.

Conclusions

Despite these caveats, the team concludes: ‘This investigation suggests that a prolonged life expectancy owing to a healthy lifestyle is not accompanied by an increased number of years living with Alzheimer’s dementia.’ The life expectancy estimates presented here ‘could help health professionals, policy makers, and stakeholders to plan future healthcare services, costs, and needs', the team adds.

Linked editorial: 'important implications'

In a linked editorial, HwaJung Choi research assistant professor from the University of Michigan refers to the study’s ‘important implications for the wellbeing of aging populations and for related public health policies and programmes’.

Dr Choi argues that the development and implementation of intervention programmes to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is critically important in global efforts to reduce pressure on stressed healthcare systems, healthcare workers, and both paid and unpaid carers.

Promoting greater engagement in healthy lifestyles may increase dementia-free life years – by delaying the onset of dementia without extending life years spent with dementia, she concludes.

Factfile

by 2050, the number of people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias globally is expected to treble (from an estimated 57 million in 2019 to 152 million)

a healthy lifestyle – consisting of adequate exercise, cognitive engagement and a healthy diet – may reduce the risk of dementia and extend life expectancy 

reaching older ages is associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer’s. While a healthier lifestyle may delay the onset of Alzheimer’s dementia, it may increase the years spent with the disease

The research paper is titled Healthy lifestyle and life expectancy with and without Alzheimer’s dementia: population based cohort study. Visit: https://www.bmj.com/content/377/bmj-2021-068390
To see Dr Choi’s editorial, visit: https://www.bmj.com/content/bmj/377/bmj.o885.full.pdf
 



Want to receive newsletters?


FREE membership

Join Us

Sign up today for membership and get...

✓ Regular newsletters
✓ Full website access
✓ Sponsor Benefits

We’ll keep you connected so you’ll NEVER MISS AN UPDATE!

Join Here

Previous newsletters


PhysioUpdate 24th May 2022
PhysioUpdate 19th May 2022
PhysioUpdate 17th May 2022
PhysioUpdate 12th May 2022
PhysioUpdate 10th May 2022
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 5th May 2022
PhysioUpdate 3rd May 2022
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 28th April 2022
PhysioUpdate 26th April 2022
PhysioUpdate 14th April 2022
PhysioUpdate 12th April 2022
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 7th April 2022
PhysioUpdate 5th April 2022
PhysioUpdate 31st March 2022
PhysioUpdate 29th March 2022
PhysioUpdate 22nd March 2022
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 17th March 2022
PhysioUpdate 15th March 2022
PhysioUpdate 8th March 2022
PhysioUpdate 3rd March 2022
PhysioUpdate 1st March 2022
PhysioUpdate 22nd February 2022
PhysioUpdate 17th February 2022
PhysioUpdate 15th February 2022
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 10th February 2022
PhysioUpdate 8th February 2022
PhysioUpdate 3rd February 2022
PhysioUpdate 1st February 2022
PhysioUpdate 25th January 2022
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 20th January 2022
PhysioUpdate 18th January 2022
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 13th January 2022
PhysioUpdate 11th January 2022
PhysioUpdate 28th December 2021
PhysioUpdate 21st December 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 16th December 2021
PhysioUpdate 14th December 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 9th December 2021
PhysioUpdate 7th December 2021
PhysioUpdate 30th November 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 25th November 2021
PhysioUpdate 23rd November 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 18th November 2021
PhysioUpdate 16th November 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 11th November 2021
PhysioUpdate 9th November 2021
PhysioUpdate 2nd November 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 28th October 2021
PhysioUpdate 26th October 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 21st October 2021
PhysioUpdate 19th October 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 14th October 2021
PhysioUpdate 12th October 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 7th October 2021
PhysioUpdate 5th October 2021
PhysioUpdate 28th September 2021
PhysioUpdate 21st September 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 16th September 2021
PhysioUpdate 14th September 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 9th September 2021
PhysioUpdate 7th September 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 2nd September 2021
PhysioUpdate 24th August 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 19th August 2021
PhysioUpdate 17th August 2021
PhysioUpdate 3rd August 2021
PhysioUpdate 27th July 2021
PhysioUpdate 20th July 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 15th July 2021
PhysioUpdate 13th July 2021
PhysioUpdate 6th July 2021
PhysioUpdate 29th June 2021
PhysioUpdate 22nd June 2021
PhysioUpdate Suppliers News 18th June
PhysioUpdate 15th June 2021
PhysioUpdate 8th June 2021
PhysioUpdate 2nd June 2021
PhysioUpdate 4th May 2021
PhysioUpdate 27th April 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 22nd April
PhysioUpdate 6th April 2021
PhysioUpdate 30th March 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 25th March
PhysioUpdate 23rd March 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 18th March 2021
PhysioUpdate 16th March 2021
PhysioUpdate 9th March 2021
PhysioUpdate 2nd March 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 25th February
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 18th February
PhysioUpdate 16th February 2021
PhysioUpdate 2nd February 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 21st January
PhysioUpdate 19th January 2021
PhysioUpdate 5th January 2021
PhysioUpdate 22nd December 2020
Industry News
9 December 2020
By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy and Privacy Policy.