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Long-Term Trajectories of Body Weight, Diet, and Physical Activity From Midlife Through Late Life and Subsequent Cognitive Decline in Women.


ABSTRACT: Healthy lifestyles are promising targets for prevention of cognitive aging, yet the optimal time windows for interventions remain unclear. We selected a case-control sample nested within the Nurses' Health Study (starting year 1976, mean age = 51 years), including 14,956 women aged ≥70 years who were free of both stroke and cognitive impairment at enrollment in a cognitive substudy (1995-2001). Cases (n = 1,496) were women with the 10% worst slopes of cognitive decline, and controls (n = 7,478) were those with slopes better than the median. We compared the trajectories of body mass index (weight (kg)/height (m)2), alternate Mediterranean diet (A-MeDi) score, and physical activity between groups, from midlife through 1 year preceding the cognitive substudy. In midlife, cases had higher body mass index than controls (mean difference (MD) = 0.59 units, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.39, 0.80), lower physical activity (MD = -1.41 metabolic equivalent of task-hours/week, 95% CI: -2.07, -0.71), and worse A-MeDi scores (MD = -0.16 points, 95% CI: -0.26, -0.06). From midlife through later life, compared with controls, cases had consistently lower A-MeDi scores but a deceleration of weight gain and a faster decrease in physical activity. In conclusion, maintaining a healthy lifestyle since midlife may help reduce cognitive decline in aging. At older ages, both deceleration of weight gain and a decrease in physical activity may reflect early signs of cognitive impairment.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7443200 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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