Health insurance news – Walking slowly linked to dementia in old age
People who walk slowly could be exhibiting signs of poor health and are at a higher risk of developing dementia in older age, researchers in the United States have claimed.
A study conducted at the Boston Medical Centre, suggests that a people who walk a sluggish pace a more likely to suffer from memory loss leading to Alzheimer's disease as they enter their twilight years.
The scientist also found that out of the 2,410 people they tested, those with a weaker grip are more likely to suffer a stroke.
Dr Erica Camargo, who led the study, said the research will help them to assess how basic tasks carried out in middle age impact on the lives of people as they age.
However, said added: "Before people take stock in the strength of a handshake or the speed you cross the road, more research is needed to understand why and what other factors are involved."
Dr Anne Corbett of the Alzheimer's Society said that while the way someone walks and grips can be a sign of oncoming problems in old age only a doctor or neurologist would be able to say for certain.
"Before people take stock in the strength of a handshake or the speed you cross the road, more research is needed to understand why and what other factors are involved," she said.
She added that people can take preventive measures to reduce the risk of them developing dementia. These include eating an healthy diet, taking regular exercise and getting blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked regularly.
Indeed, a separate US study found recently that people who have a diet which is high in calories are more likely to develop mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which can be an early indicator of dementia.
People who consumed between 2,142 and 6000 calories each day are the most at risk.