We’re always writing about how all of health is interconnected. A new study has found that having high blood sugar, low HDL or “good” cholesterol and high levels of triglycerides in your 30s increased the risk of later Alzheimer’s disease.
“High cholesterol and blood sugar and heart disease are pretty well-established as risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease, but most of the research linking the conditions has been done in people who are much older,” said study author Lindsay Farrer, chief of biomedical genetics at Boston Univ. School of Medicine.
Knowing this information could help younger people change their health to prevent future problems. Dr. Farrer went on to say, “Making changes, including getting more exercise and eating a healthier diet, may help lower your risk for Alzheimer’s disease. We know that there are other risks for Alzheimer’s disease, particularly genetic factors, that you can’t modify, and this makes those that you can even more important.”
Almost 5,000 people were given medical examinations every four years for 38 years in the study. The researchers saw that changing your health could make a big difference later down the road.
“For every 15 points that your blood sugar goes up, your risk of Alzheimer’s goes up by 14.5 percent later in life,” said Dr. Farrer.
But they saw the inverse was also true. People could lower their risk but taking care of their blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides.
“There is a tendency among people in this younger age bracket to take for granted they are in good health and not have regular check-ups,” said Dr. Farrer. But that isn’t true. Checking in with your doctor is essential at any age. Especially if you have a family history of medical concerns with a genetic component.
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and affects about six million people in the U.S., according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Knowing how to take steps to protect yourself from it early is vitally important to healthy aging. You can make a difference to your health at any age. If you aren’t in your 30s and have blood sugar, cholesterol or triglyceride concerns, all is not lost. You can always make healthy changes that will have benefits and aid your current and future health. Remember what we always say: today is the best day to make a healthy start.