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health as it happens

Healthy habits fight frailty in old age and cut dementia risk - The Times

People who avoid becoming frail in old age by adopting healthy habits are also more likely to avoid a dementia diagnosis even if they are genetically at risk, according to a study.

Researchers used data from more than 196,000 people over 60 registered with the UK Biobank, and concluded that action to prevent frailty was also likely to prevent dementia.

The UK Biobank is a database containing genetic, health and lifestyle information from half a million UK participants, whose anonymised data is available for use by researchers.

“We’re seeing increasing evidence that taking meaningful action during life can significantly reduce dementia risk,” said the lead author, Dr David Ward, from the Division of Geriatric Medicine at Dalhousie University in Canada.

“Our research is a major