Elzbieta Kuzma, PhD: Healthy Lifestyle Reduces Dementia Risk Despite Genetics

July 15, 2019

The research fellow at the University of Exeter spoke about the findings from her observational study which showed that living a favorable lifestyle could offset the risk for dementia, even if that risk is genetically linked. 



"Those results are really exciting as they show that a healthy lifestyle is associated with risk of dementia regardless of the genetic risk, and so this is a very optimistic message."

At the 2019 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, Elzbieta Kuzma, PhD, a research fellow at the University of Exeter Medical School, and colleagues, presented findings from an observational study which suggest that adherence to a healthy lifestyle can offset genetic dementia risk, and support engaging in healthy lifestyle interventions to prevent or delay dementia.

In the study, investigators identified 668 cases of incident all-cause dementia over 938,418.7 person-years of follow-up. The risk of incident dementia was 60% higher among those with a high genetic risk compared to those with a low genetic risk. Those with a high genetic risk and an unfavorable lifestyle were more than 3 times more likely to develop dementia compared to those with a low genetic risk and a favorable lifestyle. They reported that genetic factors did not significantly modify the relationship between healthy lifestyle index and dementia risk.

To discuss the implications of the findings, NeurologyLive spoke with Kuzma in an interview at the meeting.

For more coverage of AAIC 2019, click here.

REFERENCE

Kuzma E, Lourida I, Hannon E, et al. Genetic Risk, Lifestyle and Dementia. Presented at: 2019 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, Los Angeles, CA, July 14—18, 2019.