Healthy Heart in 20s = Healthy Brain in 40s
People who take simple steps to keep their heart healthy in young adulthood, such as exercising, eating a healthy diet and controlling blood pressure and cholesterol, may keep their brain from shrinking decades later. People who take care of their heart health in young adulthood may have larger brains in middle-age, compared to people who do not take care of their heart health.
“We know that when people take certain steps like exercising and eating well, they have healthier hearts,” said study author Michael Bancks, PhD, of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. “The American Heart Association created seven simple steps everyone can take to improve heart health called Life’s Simple 7 and recent research has shown that people who score higher on that assessment also score higher on thinking tests. We wanted to see if maintaining a healthy heart, as defined by these seven factors, affected the physical make-up of the brain as well.”
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