Published: Fri, March 16, 2018
Health Care | By Belinda Paul

Exercise drastically cuts odds of women developing dementia, study finds

Exercise drastically cuts odds of women developing dementia, study finds

Those cycling tests were conducted in 1968, and the women were followed over a 44-year period until 2012.

If this doesn't encourage you to squeeze in a workout today, nothing will: a new study from Sweden shows that women who were highly fit in mid-life were almost 90% less likely to get dementia decades later.

When the highly fit women did develop dementia, they developed the disease an average of 11 years later than those women who were moderately fit, or at age 90 instead of age 79.

However, the study was fairly small - only 191 women took the initial fitness test, which means it's hard to maintain statistical significance while breaking the group down into sub-categories of more or less fit. A further 92 had medium-level fitness (81 to 120 watts) and 59 exhibited low-level fitness (80 watts or less).

Nearly half of those who had to stop the exercise test because of high blood pressure, chest pain or other cardiovascular problems went on to get dementia also.

Middle-aged women with a "high degree" of cardiovascular fitness proved to be 90% less likely to develop dementia in their golden years.


Results showed that while those who were physically fit and those who were not lived just as long, the women who could ride an exercise bike at a fast pace for six minutes in the initial test had a much lower risk of developing dementia than those who could not perform, USA Today reports. Overall, the women who were highly fit decreased their dementia risk by as much as 88%.

"We need to see research that builds on findings like this and drives progress towards practical, evidence-based strategies that could help people reduce their risk of dementia".

There are many different types of dementia, of which Alzheimer's disease is the most common.

About 5.4 million people in the United States are estimated to be living with Alzheimer's disease, and it is the sixth leading cause of death among all adults, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There are 850,000 people living with dementia in the United Kingdom and set to be over 1million by 2025.

It is estimated that the number of people living with dementia in the United Kingdom by 2025 will rise to over 1 million.

"Many of those who interrupted the test at submax, very low watt level, probably had indications for a poor cardiovascular health status", Hörder said.

In the United States, it's estimated there are 5.5 million sufferers.

As a person's age increases, so does the risk of them developing dementia.

Now there is no cure for dementia.

Like this: