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Physical activity can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by 33%

A recent study finds additional evidence that physical activity may reduce the risk of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. As dementia rates increase with an aging population, scientists are trying to understand what factors increase the risk of developing or preventing these conditions. There is already evidence that physical fitness can help reduce the risk of dementia. A recent study concludes that cardiorespiratory fitness is indeed linked to the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (ADD) in old age.

First author Dr. Drawing on the broad spectrum of people served by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), Edward Zamrini and his colleagues studied 649,605 military veterans between the ages of 30 and 95. These individuals had not been diagnosed with ADHD and had performed a treadmill test (ETT) as part of their routine care. The researchers analyzed the records of these individuals to create an ADHD diagnosis over an average period of 8.8 years. dr Zamrini, lead author, Professor Qing Zeng-Teitler, and her colleagues compared ETT scores and the occurrence of ADAD development in these individuals.

Metabolic Equivalence

Exercise tolerance tests quantify fitness levels using a measurement standard called MET, or Task Metabolic Equivalence. In this study, the authors divided the participants into five groups based on the METs they could achieve, from lowest to highest fitness: an average of about 3.8 to 11.7 METs. For comparison: 1 MET corresponds to sitting still, yoga requires 3.2 METs and walking at 6 km/h would require 11.6 METs.

Scientists have found that people who are in poor physical condition have the highest risk of developing ADHD. Conversely, people in excellent physical condition were least likely to develop ADHD.

dr Zamrini, director of neurology at Irvine Clinical Research, assistant professor of clinical research and leadership at George Washington University and assistant professor of neurology at the University of Utah, explained: This study found a strong and gradually inverting association between cardiorespiratory fitness and reduced risk of Alzheimer’s -Illness. This means that the fitter a person is, the less likely it is that they will later develop Alzheimer’s disease.

Specifically, the researchers found that the fittest participants were 33% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s compared to the least fit participants. Similarly, the second fittest group was 26% less likely to develop the disease, the third fittest group 20% less likely, and the fourth fittest group 13% less likely.

The healthier we are, the less risk we have

Two main factors influence cardiorespiratory fitness: genetics and exercise. We can’t change our genetics, but we can improve our cardiorespiratory fitness through a meaningful exercise program. This study also shows that becoming a marathon runner is not necessary to reduce the risks. Even small increases in cardiorespiratory fitness can help!

The connection between increased physical fitness and reduced risk of dementia is very clear. It’s a very compelling combination. In addition, there are many other studies that prospectively confirm this association between physical fitness and dementia risk, confirming that regular and recommended exercise can reduce a person’s risk of developing dementia. Studies like the global FINGER study conducted in Finland, which prospectively surveys populations over time, simply show growing evidence that regular exercise and other activities are important for reducing your risk of dementia and maintaining a healthy brain want to get to improve your cardiorespiratory fitness.

Top tips for preventing Alzheimer’s disease

Good advice for anyone concerned about their risk of developing Alzheimer’s is to live as healthily as possible. There are several lifestyle measures that are considered beneficial. These are exercise, diet, adequate sleep and mental activity and social engagement. The strongest evidence relates to practice.

Modifiable risk factors important in Alzheimer’s disease. 12 modifiable risk factors are associated with 40% of dementia cases worldwide.

The most important are:

– stay in good physical condition
– a healthy and balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables
– Sleep well
– meaningful relationships
– maintain a strong sense of social belonging
– Avoid excessive alcohol
– having the ability to restore and relieve stress through meditation and other forms of self-care.

This is an important epidemiological study. Such studies do not prove cause and effect. However, the strength of epidemiological studies lies in the number of subjects studied. The large number of subjects in this study and the adjustments made for comorbidities support these conclusions.


This study will be presented at the 74th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in Seattle.

* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace the advice of a doctor.

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