Women who are in top cardiovascular shape were 90% less likely to develop dementia in old age than their peers who weren’t as fit.
A new Swedish study also found that women who developed the condition even though they exercised regularly got dementia 11 years later than their peers who didn’t exercise at all.
The findings which appeared this week in the journal Neurology revealed that women should start at least in their middle age to get fit if they want their dementia risk to be reduced.
Researchers concluded that there is a direct link between cardiovascular fitness and a lower risk of dementia.
What is good for the heart really does seem to be good for the brain also,
The study involved 191 women aged from 38 to 60. Participants were tracked for 44 years. When the study started middle aged volunteers agreed to use a stationary bike until they felt exhausted.
Women Who Did Not Exercise at All Faced Higher Dementia Risk
Researchers found that of the women who performed the worst on the stationary bike, 32% were later diagnosed with dementia. Twenty-five percent of those who fared well but not satisfactory also developed the condition.
Of the women who passed the stationary bike fitness test, only 5% developed dementia in their golden years.
Women who were unable to cycle on the stationary bike until exhausted got the worst results. Of those, 45% were later diagnosed with the neurodegenerative condition.
The research team thinks that cardiovascular issues like high blood pressure could boost dementia risk.
The team couldn’t explain the relationship between dementia and cardiovascular health. It may be because women who are more fit are more likely to have healthier weights or exercising is altering the brain in a positive way, like boosting blood flow to the brain area.
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