Top Five Factors for Eliminating Chronic Disease and Dementia

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( — March 6, 2014) Portland, OR — The study began in 1979 and followed 2,235 men from south Wales for 35 years. These men were asked regular questions about health and lifestyle choices regularly during the study. These men were aged 45 to 49 at the start of the study.

“What the research shows is that following a healthy lifestyle confers surprisingly large benefits to health,” lead researcher Peter Elwood said. “Healthy behaviors have a far more beneficial effect than any medical treatment or preventative procedure.”

The five factors that came out on top in reducing chronic disease rates from the research were

a healthy diet, low body weight, regular exercise, low alcohol intake and not smoking.


People who follow any four of the factors were 60 percent less likely to suffer from dementia or cognitive decline and 70 percent less likely to suffer from diabetes, heart disease or stroke.


The largest connection was found between exercise and dementia. However it should be noted that an overall healthy lifestyle is more important than any one component.


Simple exercise of 30 minutes, five times a week, is the easiest way to obtain overall good health.


“Exercise happens to be the most important but the other factors come in very close behind,” Elwood said.  “The size of reduction in the instance of disease owing to these simple healthy steps has really amazed us and is of enormous importance in an ageing population.”


Dementia is a growing public health concern, expected to affect 135 million people worldwide by 2050.

“We are facing potentially large increases in the numbers of people living with dementia and if we are to deal with this crisis head on we must invest in research,” said Rebecca Wood, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK.

“It’s encouraging for people to know there are simple steps they can take now to reduce their risk,” she said.





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