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People who maintain cardiorespiratory fitness in mid-life may be less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, as they age.

Laura F. DeFina, from The Cooper Institute (Texas, USA), and colleagues revealed that among nearly 20,000 participants in the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study, those in the highest quintile of cardiorespiratory fitness at roughly age 50 were 36 percent less likely than those in the lowest quintile. The magnitude and direction of the association were similar with or without previous stroke, suggesting that the lower risk for dementia later in life was independent of cerebrovascular disease. Writing that: “Higher midlife fitness levels seem to be associated with lower hazards of developing all-cause dementia later in life,” the study authors submit that: “The magnitude and direction of the association were similar with or without previous stroke, suggesting that higher fitness levels earlier in life may lower risk for dementia later in life, independent of cerebrovascular disease.”

References:

  1. Laura F. DeFina; Benjamin L. Willis; Nina B. Radford; Ang Gao; David Leonard; William L. Haskell; Myron F. Weiner; Jarett D. Berry. “The Association Between Midlife Cardiorespiratory Fitness Levels and Later-Life Dementia: A Cohort Study.” Annals Int Med., 5 February 2013.

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