Could Looking After Your Heart Lower Dementia Risk?

There are many reasons to take good care of your heart as you get older. But now there might be another one to add to the list – a lower risk of developing dementia.

New research conducted in France suggests that following seven recommendations from the American Heart Association (AHA) to improve your cardiovascular health could have more benefits than simply keeping this vital organ in good working order.

The researchers followed over 6,000 people aged 65 or older for an average of 8.5 years. None of them had dementia at the start of the study, with around 11 per cent developing the condition.

According to the study, for every additional heart-healthy recommendation people followed, they lowered their risk of developing dementia by around ten per cent.

The seven recommendations are: not smoking; exercising regularly; routinely eating fish, fruits and vegetables; staying a healthy weight; and maintaining healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Study leader Cecilia Samieri, of the University of Bordeaux and the INSERM population health research centre in Bordeaux, noted that ideally people would achieve all seven of the recommendations. However, she stressed that taking on any of these recommendations can have a positive impact on your health.

Another thing that can impact your cardiovascular health is how much quality sleep you’re getting each night.

The Independent recently highlighted a study presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress, which noted that getting fewer than six hours of shut-eye each night, or more than eight, can be detrimental to your heart health.

If you provide Woodley home care, you may want to see if you can get any of your patients to adopt one or more of the recommendations to improve their heart health.