HealthDay News — Running more than 15 miles per week may reduce the risk of dying from Alzheimer disease, research published in the Journal of Alzeimer’s Disease suggests.

To test whether exercise, diet, or statins affect Alzheimer disease mortality, Paul Williams, PhD, of the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif., examined the exercise and dietary habits of 153,536 runners and walkers who had participated in the National Runners’ and Walkers’ Health Studies.

For an average of 12 years, the study participants were followed and tracked for the number who died of Alzheimer disease. There were 175 deaths from Alzheimer disease, reported Williams.

Of the patients who ran more than 15.3 miles per week, 40% had a reduced risk of dying from Alzheimer disease. Running between seven and 15 miles was linked with a 25% reduced risk, but the finding wasn’t statistically significant.

When looking at diet, Williams found that those who ate three or more pieces of fruit a day had a 60% lower risk of death from Alzheimer disease, compared with patients who ate less than a piece of fruit daily. Those who took statins, which have been linked with lower Alzheimer disease risk in other studies, had a lower risk of death from Alzheimer disease by 40%.


  1. Williams PT. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. 2014; doi: 10.3233/JAD-141929