Healthy Behaviors Linked With Fewer Memory Problems

The Key To Keeping Your Memory In Tip-Top Shape?

It's no secret that a healthy lifestyle can help lower a person's risk of the memory robbing disease, Alzheimer's. And now, a new study shows that it could also be associated with your memory in general.

"We found that the more healthy lifestyle behaviors were practiced, the less likely one was to complain about memory issues," study researcher Fernando Torres-Gil, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and associate director of the UCLA Longevity Center, said in a statement. The study, published in the journal International Psychogeriatrics, was conducted in collaboration with the Gallup organization.

The study included phone interviews with 18,552 people ages 18 to 99 who were polled on their health behaviors, as well as their perceptions of their own memory. Surprisingly, younger people -- age groups of 18 to 39, and 40 to 59 -- were less likely to practice healthy behaviors such as eating healthfully, exercising and not smoking than older people ages 60 to 99.

Researchers found that the more healthy behaviors a person engaged in, the less likely he or she was to report having memory problems. Specifically, one healthy behavior was linked with a 21 percent lower memory problem risk; two healthy behaviors were linked with a 45 percent lower memory problem risk; and three healthy behaviors were linked with a 75 percent lower memory problem risk. And people who engaged in more than three healthy behaviors had a 111 percent lower risk of having memory problems.

Researchers also noted that younger people weren't immune to memory probmes -- 14 percent of younger adults reported having memory problems, while 22 percent of middle-aged adults reported memory problems and 26 percent of older adults reported memory problems. Researchers said stress and technology may be responsible for memory issues in younger adults, though more research on this is necessary.

Indeed, HuffPost blogger Dr. David Volpi, M.D., recently wrote a post on a new study from University of Gothenburg researchers, showing an association between heavy technology use among young adults and impaired sleep and worse stress and mental health.

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