A UK landmark study has claimed that living a healthy lifestyle can play a significant role in delaying dementia by up to 12 years.
Heart disease could also be averted by up to six years compared with those who are not regular with the diet and exercise, according to the health experts.
In this study, 2,500 men aged 35 years were observed and five steps leading to a longer and healthier life were pinpointed. These steps include: doing regular exercise, not smoking, maintaining a healthy bodyweight, having a healthy diet and having a low alcohol intake.
This study conducted in South Wales is the longest of its kind which examines the influence of environmental factors in chronic disease.
The researchers from Cardiff University started following lifestyle habits of men aged 45-59 living in Caerphilly area starting from 1979 to present day.
It was found by them that those who followed four to five of the specified healthy steps were 60 percent less likely to develop dementia.
Besides, there was a reduction in the risk of heart attacks and strokes and 40 percent lesser cancers.
According to the evidence given at a Healthy Ageing summit run by the University, the risk of diabetes was also reduced by 70 percent.
The lead author of the school of Medicine study, Professor Peter Elwood said that this study works as a `wake up’ call.
‘Thirty years ago, only 30 men in our study followed all five of our recommended healthy steps,’ he said.
‘Although following these steps does not give them complete protection against disease, the men who, despite living healthily, developed a disease did so at a much older age than the men neglectful of their
‘Thus the development of heart disease was delayed by up to six years and it was up to around an additional 12 years before dementia took its grip.
‘On the less rosy end of the spectrum, 40 men in every 100 lived a life so neglectful that by any definition their lifestyle was unhealthy. They experienced none of the reductions in disease.’
‘The appalling fact is that recent surveys across the whole of Wales yield almost identical proportions of men and women following the healthy and unhealthy lifestyles found in Caerphilly 35 years ago.
'And the picture isn’t much better in England: 53 per cent of men drink more than the recommended amount and only half of men meet the government-recommended scores for well-being’, he added.
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News source: Dailymail.co.uk
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