Abstract and Keywords
The world faces a global epidemic of dementia with the rapid ageing of the population. Accumulating evidence suggests that healthy life styles are associated with a reduced risk of cognitive impairment and incident dementia. A number of studies using longitudinal designs have demonstrated that abstaining from smoking, consuming alcohol in moderation, maintaining normal weight, and eating a healthy diet have significant cognitive benefits. In addition, protective effects of leading an active life style, with engagement in physical, mental, and social activities have been reported. There are even indications that participation in multiple healthy life styles may have synergistic effects on cognitive function. However, there are still inconsistencies in the research findings, with a relatively small number of studies and paucity of data using large community-based clinical trials. The purpose of this chapter is to review the current evidence base on the potential role life-style behavioural factors may play in protecting against cognitive decline and delaying the onset of dementia in late-life.
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