Don’t wait: Shrink your Alzheimer’s risk now

Although your chances of Alzheimer’s disease increase as you age, what you do early in life can alter your risk later on. So no matter what your age, you can start taking measures against this fatal brain problem today.

For instance, if you are very overweight and still in your 30s, by losing weight you can significantly decrease the possibility of Alzheimer’s disease in your future. A study in England shows that being obese before age 40 triples your Alzheimer’s chances.

In the 12-year study, involving more than 450,000 people, the researchers discovered that for people between the ages of 30 to 39, the risk of suffering dementia (severe memory problems that can include Alzheimer’s) later in life was 3.5 times greater than for people who were not obese.

People who were not obese until they reached their 40s had a risk for dementia that was increased by 70 percent. The chances fell for each decade people kept their weight down. Those who became obese in their 50s ran a 50 percent increased risk. Developing obesity in their 60s bumped up the risk by 40 percent.

According to this research, if you become obese in your 70s, your chances of Alzheimer’s are not affected. And if you become obese in your 80s, that extra fat around your middle actually reduces your chances of memory problems by 22 percent.

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Carl Lowe

By Carl Lowe

has written about health, fitness and nutrition for a wide range of publications including Prevention Magazine, Self Magazine and Time-Life Books. The author of more than a dozen books, he has been gluten-free since 2007.