Health Advice



Six ways to slash your familial risk for dementia

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

Ron Prescott Reagan, 63, President Ronald Reagan's son, may be the political opposite of his conservative father, but one thing he and his dad may have in common is a familial risk for dementia. President Reagan had Alzheimer's for 10 years when he died in 2004 at age 93. And a new study says (if you don't adopt dementia-defeating habits) having an immediate family member with dementia ups your risk for the disorder by 78% compared to folks with no close relative who has been affected.

The good news: A study, published in the journal Circulation, identified six lifestyle habits that go a long way to preventing dementia -- even for folks with this increased familial risk. The researchers followed almost 302,239 men and women aged around age 60 for eight years. Folks with a familial predisposition for dementia slashed their risk by adopting at least three of the healthy behaviors -- and more healthy habits provide additional protection.

1. Not having obesity.

2. Getting 150 minutes or more a week of moderate to vigorous activity.

3. Regularly sleeping six to nine hours a night.

4. Consuming two (for men) or one (for women) alcoholic drinks a day or less.

5. Not smoking.


6. Eating a plant-based diet and skipping refined grains and processed meats.

Need help getting your healthy habits launched? Check out "What a Day on System Oz Looks Like" and "System Oz: What you need to know" at And adopt Dr Mike's What to Eat When nutrition plan at


Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c)2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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