Women's Health

Fitness May Stave Off Dementia (For Women)

Fitness in middle age appears to stave of dementia in later years, at least for women. That finding comes from scientists at the University of Gothenburg in Gothenburg, Sweden, where researchers had 191 women, average age of 50, take a bicycle exercise test. Science Daily reports that 40 of the women met the researchers’ criteria for a high fitness level, 92 women were in the medium fitness category; and 59 women were in the low fitness category.  Over the next 44 years, the researchers tested the women for dementia several times. They found that 5 percent of the highly fit women developed dementia, compared to 25 percent of moderately fit women and 32 percent of the women with low fitness. The bottom line: the highly fit women were 88 percent less likely to develop dementia than the moderately fit women. And among the women who had to stop the exercise test due to problems, 45 percent developed dementia decades later.

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