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Healthy Lifestyle May Lower Dementia Risk Despite Genetics

Higher scores in Life’s Simple 7 at midlife linked to lower risk for dementia across the range of genetic risk

THURSDAY, May 26, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Across strata of genetic risk scores (GRS), higher midlife scores in Life’s Simple 7 (LS7) are associated with a lower risk for dementia, according to a study published online May 25 in Neurology.

Adrienne Tin, Ph.D., from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, and colleagues examined the extent to which higher scores in LS7 may offset dementia risk across the range of genetic risk. Midlife LS7 scores were derived and GRS were generated using genome-wide summary statistics of Alzheimer disease. The associations of the GRS and LS7 with incident dementia were assessed. Data were included for 8,823 European Americans (EA) and 2,738 African Americans (AA).

The researchers observed 1,603 and 631 cases of dementia among EA and AA, respectively, during a median follow-up of 26.2 years. Higher GRS were associated with increased dementia risk among EA and AA (hazard ratios per standard deviation, 1.44 and 1.26, respectively). Higher LS7 scores among EA were consistently associated with lower dementia risk across quintiles of GRS, including the highest quintile (hazard ratio per point, 0.91). The associations between LS7 and incident dementia had the same direction within stratum of GRS among AA, but confidence intervals were wide and smaller sample sizes limited reliable inferences.

“Higher LS7 scores, a metric for maintaining cardiovascular and brain health, are largely associated with lower risk of incident dementia across strata of genetic risk supporting the use of LS7 for maintaining brain health and offsetting genetic risk,” the authors write.

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