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Decline in dementia rate offers “cautious hope”

March 09, 2016
  • By: Beverly Merz, Executive Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch


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Dianna Sabo
March 11, 2016

I would like to see lifestyle choices correlated (statistically) with dementia. In my own family cigarette smokers get dementia. Non-smokers do not. Just from observation the two elderly non-smoking women were quite heavy however they did not have heart disease until they were in their late 80’s. Some of the very thin women got dementia, however, they were smokers. In one instance, one woman stopped smoking late in life, is thin, and does not have dementia. The research may be out there already and I have just not found it.

A. Thurner
March 11, 2016

I agree with Mr. Collins. My father who lived on an island in the Mediterranean ate a simple diet, almost no meat and little dairy. He never owned a car he rode his bike everywhere until he was 75, had an extended family around him, got dementia!

March 09, 2016


Gregg Collins
March 09, 2016

Can we please stop throwing in comments like the last sentence in this article? There’s no support for this in the study. I realize how tempting it is to recommend things you intuitively believe are helpful, but the whole point of an empirically-driven approach is precisely to avoid substituting intuition for facts. Furthermore, as the we’ve seen repeatedly, advice that seems intuitive often turns out to be wrong.

While I’m at it, it is not at all clear that these results bolster the notion that what is good for the heart is good for the head, unless I misunderstand the study. I don’t think the authors analyzed the correlation between heart health and dementia within the study group, did they? If not, all this shows is co-occurrence.

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