Americans are constantly advised to lead “heart healthy” lives, and for good reason: Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the U.S. But cardiovascular health is also a boon to the brain, new research reveals. The study examined the habits and lifestyles of more than 1,000 people who were an average age of 72.
Specifically, they assessed how many of the American Heart Association’s goals the participants achieved—keeping physically active; main tain ing a healthy weight and eating regimen; not smoking; and keeping blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels under control. The participants also completed cognitive tests when the study began and again six years later.
As it turned out, people who more closely adhered to a heart-healthy lifestyle showed fewer signs of age-related mental decline, reports TechTimes.com. University of Miami neurologist Hannah Gardener, who led the study, suggests more research is needed to pinpoint the age ranges during which cardiovascular-friendly behaviors “may influence cognitive performance and mitigate decline.”