The UCLA researchers and the Gallup organization collaborated on a poll of more than 18,500 individuals between the ages of 18 and 99 and have found that the healthier lifestyle behaviours practiced, the less likely they are to complain about memory issue.
The respondents were surveyed about both their memory and their health behaviour which includes smoking habits, and if they are active enough or they do exercises. Also, it asked questions on healthy diet. The researchers then got what they had expected; healthy eating, not smoking and exercising regularly were related to better self perceived memory abilities for most adult groups.
"These findings reinforce the importance of educating young and middle-aged individuals to take greater responsibility for their health — including memory — by practicing positive lifestyle behaviors earlier in life," said the study's first author, Dr. Gary Small, director of the UCLA Longevity Center and a professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA who holds the Parlow-Solomon Chair on Aging.
The study may also provide a baseline for the future study of memory complaints in a wide range of adult age groups.
"We found that the healthier lifestyle behaviors were practiced, the less likely one was to complain about memory issues," said senior author Fernando Torres-Gil, a professor at UCLA's Luskin School of Public Affairs and associate director of the UCLA Longevity Center.
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