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Poor health in teens and 20s raises risk of dementia later, studies say

July 30, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Lifestyle behaviors in our teens and 20s appear to impact our risk of cognitive decline Alzheimer's and dementia in later life, as does our access to quality education, studies say.

(CNN)Education and lifestyle behaviors in our teens and 20s appear to impact our risk of cognitive decline and dementia in later life, according to three new studies presented Thursday at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference 2020.

A lack of access to high-quality education at an early age; being overweight during early adulthood; or having high blood pressure, diabetes and two or more heart health risk factors in the teen years, 20s and midlife were significantly connected to cognitive issues and dementia in later life, according to the new research.

Two of the studies explored the impact in the teens and 20s on the risk of later dementia for people with a higher body-mass index (BMI) or heart diseases risk factors.

A second study analyzed the impact of body mass index (BMI) at the age of 20 on the risk for later-life dementia for over 5,000 men and women participating in two national longitudinal studies.

In women, being overweight (having a BMI of 25 or more) at age 20 raised the risk of dementia by 1. 8 times.

There was no association between higher BMI and dementia risk among women in midlife, suggesting that being overweight at younger ages must play a role.

On the flip side, going to higher-quality schools as a child was associated with better language and memory performance, and lower risk of dementia in older age.

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