Women with a high level of cardiovascular fitness at midlife may have a reduced risk for dementia years later, a Neurology study suggests.
Nearly 200 Swedish women aged 38 to 60 underwent a cycling test that measured cardiovascular fitness based on maximal exertion capacity. They were then followed for an average of 29 years, during which 23% were diagnosed with dementia (at a mean age of 80) using objective assessments that included repeated neuropsychiatric evaluations.
Compared with women who had medium cardiovascular fitness at baseline, those with high fitness levels had an 88% lower risk for dementia during follow-up. Additionally, those with high fitness were about 11 years older when they developed dementia, relative to medium-fitness women.
The researchers write, “Improved cardiovascular fitness in midlife might be a modifiable factor to delay or prevent dementia. Findings are not causal, and future research needs to focus on whether improved fitness could have positive effects on dementia risk.”
Credit to NEJM Watch
back to Blog