How does one’s lifestyle, i.e. eating habits, activity levels, etc. effect their cognitive functioning?
What was done?
A survey recording dietary information (fruit and vegetable intake, alcohol intake, fish and seafood intake), activity details (sedentary time, physical activity duration), and smoking behaviors was conducted. The association between the survey data at midlife and participants’ cognitive test scores in later life was conducted.
What was found?
Low fruit and vegetable consumption and low physical activity was associated with reduced verbal memory.
How does this effect me?
By adjusting your diet, i.e. including more fruits and vegetables, as well as including physical activity into your daily routine you may reduce your chances of experiencing cognitive impairment in later life.
Objectives. We examined the association between individual and clustered lifestyle behaviors in middle age and later in cognitive functioning.
Methods. Middle-aged participants (n = 2430) in the Supplémentation en Vitamines et Minéraux Antioxydant study self-reported their low physical activity, sedentary behavior, alcohol use, smoking, low fruit and vegetable consumption, and low fish consumption. We assessed cognition 13 years later via 6 neuropsychological tests. After standardization, we summed the scores for a composite cognitive measure. We estimated executive functioning and verbal memory scores using principal component analysis. We estimated the mean differences (95% confidence intervals [CIs]) in cognitive performance by the number of unhealthy behaviors using analysis of covariance. We identified latent unhealthy behavior factor via structural equation modeling.
Results. Global cognitive function and verbal memory were linearly, negatively associated with the number of unhealthy behaviors: adjusted mean differences = −0.36 (95% CI = −0.69, −0.03) and −0.46 (95% CI = −0.80, −0.11), respectively, per unit increase in the number of unhealthy behaviors. The latent unhealthy behavior factor with low fruit and vegetable consumption and low physical activity as main contributors was associated with reduced verbal memory (RMSEA = 0.02; CFI = 0.96; P = .004). No association was found with executive functioning.
Conclusions. Comprehensive public health strategies promoting healthy lifestyles might help deter cognitive aging.
Emmanuelle Kesse-Guyot, Valentina A. Andreeva, Camille Lassale, Serge Hercberg, and Pilar Galan. Clustering of Midlife Lifestyle Behaviors and Subsequent Cognitive Function: A Longitudinal Study. American Journal of Public Health: November 2014, Vol. 104, No. 11, pp. e170-e177.