Alzheimer’s disease, dementia risk increases with weaker heart function

By: Dr. Victor Marchione | Alzheimers | Sunday, June 05, 2016 - 08:30 AM

Alzheimer's disease, dementia risk increases with weaker heart functionResearch suggests maintaining a healthy heart can ward off Alzheimer’s disease.

Weaker heart health can lead to Alzheimer’s disease or dementia

Data collected from 1,000 people was used to uncover the findings. The study followed the participants for 11 years. The results, which were published in Circulation, revealed that among the group 32 participants developed dementia, and 26 developed Alzheimer’s disease.

The study found people with weaker heart function made them two to three times more likely to develop dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Researchers believe pinpointing this heart-mind relationship can help develop further prevention tips to deter the onset of dementia.

Because the brain requires blood flow, a lack of it may lead to brain issues such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Therefore, a weakened heart may determine someone’s risk of developing dementia.

As research on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is ongoing, findings like this better help us understand the disease and make us one step further to uncovering a potential cure.

Boost heart function for healthier brain health

If the key to a healthy mind is a healthy heart, it’s important to embark on a heart-healthy lifestyle. Boosting heart health can happen at any age, so don’t think it’s too late to start benefiting from these tips.

  • Exercise: Seniors tend to lead a more sedentary lifestyle. This has many implications on their health, including raising blood pressure as well as leading to weight gain. Exercise not only combats these ailments, but can greatly improve your heart.
  • Eat well: Diet plays a large role in heart health because it can greatly affect weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Enjoying foods high in fiber, healthy fat, and antioxidants can work to boost heart health.
  • Control stress: Stress can raise blood pressure and wreak havoc on your body. Stress can even increase one’s heart rate. Minimizing stress is a useful tool in maintaining proper heart health.
  • Know your risk: If heart disease or any other heart illnesses run in your family, it could be passed down to you. Knowing your family medical history can prompt you to get checked out early and prevent any future damage.
  • Manage other medical conditions: Because your heart is such a vital organ to your body overall, it has to work harder if other medical conditions are not well-managed. From diabetes or sleep apnea, managing health conditions can improve your heart health as well.
  • Cut down on booze: Moderate drinking of red wine has shown benefits for heart health, but excessive drinking can actually hurt the heart as it raises cortisol levels similar to stress.
  • Drink coffee: Studies have shown moderate coffee consumption can help reduce the risk of heart failure by as much as 11 percent.
  • Sprinkle on some flaxseed: Flaxseeds contain essential omega fatty acids, which have been shown to boost heart health. Furthermore, they contain fiber, which can help reduce cholesterol, a known risk factor for heart problems.
  • Lose weight: Being overweight puts your heart at risk, and studies have shown just losing five percent of your bodyweight is enough to start improving your heart health. Losing weight also helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure, which are risk factors for heart-related problems.

These are just some useful tips to promote a healthier heart. Not only will your heart benefit, but your overall health will improve as well. A strong heart isn’t just meant for a strong mind. Your heart is your body’s powerhouse. Without it, all other functions fail. Therefore, if you want to maintain your memory and live healthy, take necessary steps to boost your heart health.

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