WEDNESDAY, Sept. 14, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Among people with type 2 diabetes, seven healthy lifestyle habits reduce dementia risk, according to a study published online Sept. 14 in Neurology.

Bin Wang, M.D., Ph.D., from Shanghai Ninth People’s Hospital and Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, and colleagues examined whether a broad combination of healthy lifestyle factors can offset the increased risk for dementia among individuals with diabetes in a prospective study using data for 167,946 participants aged 60 years or older from the U.K. Biobank. An overall lifestyle score was created, which ranged from 0 to 7, with 1 point for each of the following: no current smoking, moderate alcohol intake, regular physical activity, healthy diet, adequate sleep duration, less sedentary behavior, and frequent social contact.

The researchers found that 4,351 participants developed dementia during a median follow-up of 12.3 years. The risk for dementia was increased for participants with diabetes, but not those with prediabetes, compared with those with normoglycemia. The hazard ratios for dementia were 4.01 and 1.74 for those with diabetes with a lifestyle score of 0 to 2 and 7, respectively, compared with diabetes-free participants with a lifestyle score of 7. Among those with diabetes, the hazard ratio for dementia was 0.46 comparing a lifestyle score of 7 versus 0 to 2, corresponding to a reduction from 5.22 to 1.72 percent in the 10-year absolute risk for dementia.

“Our results highlight the significance of promoting an overall healthy lifestyle through multifactorial approaches for prevention or delayed onset of dementia, particularly in patients with diabetes,” the authors write.

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