Social determinants and lifestyle factors for brain health: implications for risk reduction of cognitive decline and dementia

Scientific reports

Sci Rep. 2022 Jul 28;12(1):12965. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-16771-6.


Substantial evidence indicates a huge potential for risk reduction of cognitive decline and dementia based on modifiable health and lifestyle factors. To maximize the chances for risk reduction, it is useful to investigate associations of social determinants and lifestyle for brain health. We computed the "LIfestyle for BRAin health" (LIBRA) score for baseline participants of the Leipzig Research Centre for Civilization Diseases (LIFE) Adult Study, a population-based urban cohort in Germany. LIBRA predicts dementia in midlife and early late life populations, comprising 12 modifiable risk factors (heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, alcohol consumption, smoking, physical inactivity, diet, depression, cognitive inactivity). Associations of social determinants (living situation, marital status, social isolation, education, net equivalence income, occupational status, socioeconomic status/SES, employment) with LIBRA were inspected using age- and sex-adjusted multivariable linear regression analysis. Z-standardization and sampling weights were applied. Participants (n = 6203) were M = 57.4 (SD = 10.6, range 40-79) years old and without dementia, 53.0% were women. Except for marital status, all considered social determinants were significantly associated with LIBRA. Beta coefficients for the association with higher LIBRA scores were most pronounced for low SES (β = 0.80, 95% CI [0.72-0.88]; p < 0.001) and middle SES (β = 0.55, 95% CI [0.47-0.62]; p < 0.001). Social determinants, particularly socioeconomic factors, are associated with lifestyle for brain health, and should thus be addressed in risk reduction strategies for cognitive decline and dementia. A social-ecological public health perspective on risk reduction might be more effective and equitable than focusing on individual lifestyle behaviors alone.

PMID:35902604 | PMC:PMC9334303 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-022-16771-6


Susanne Röhr
Alexander Pabst
Ronny Baber
Christoph Engel
Heide Glaesmer
Andreas Hinz
Matthias L Schroeter
A Veronica Witte
Samira Zeynalova
Arno Villringer
Markus Löffler
Steffi G Riedel-Heller