Scientists have revealed the seven health tests that tell a person their risk of developing dementia in later life.

These seven tests look at whether a person: smokes, is overweight, exercises regularly, eats fish and fruit or vegetables often, and has healthy blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol levels.

According to the Daily Mail, the French study concluded that people over 60 who look after their heart health are less likely to suffer memory and cognitive decline eight years later.

Around 850,000 people in the UK have dementia, of which approximately 62 per cent suffer from Alzheimer's, the most common form of the disease. Some 5.7 million have Alzheimer's in the US.

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How the research was carried out

A French study concluded people over 60 who look after their heart health are less likely to suffer memory and cognitive decline eight years later. Photo / Getty Images
A French study concluded people over 60 who look after their heart health are less likely to suffer memory and cognitive decline eight years later. Photo / Getty Images

The researchers, from the University of Bordeaux, assessed the heart health of 6,626 people aged over 65 to determine whether this affected their risk of dementia.

Heart health was evaluated via the seven-item checklist from the American Heart Association.

The heart-health recommendations include not smoking, having a BMI under 25, exercising regularly and eating well.

Other advice includes having a cholesterol level of less than 200 mg/dL, glucose under 100 mg/dL and a blood pressure reading of no more than 120/80 mm Hg.

After assessing all of the participants for the above, they were given a heart health score.

Their cognitive function was investigated multiple times between 1999 and 2016.

Looking after your heart benefits your brain

Results suggest people with poor heart health scores in their 60s are more at risk of dementia eight years later.

The more cardiovascular advice a person fails to follow, the greater their risk of dementia becomes.

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Limitations of the study include its participants only being white and from urban areas. Therefore the findings, published in the journal JAMA, may not apply to the general population.

Osteoporosis sufferers are at 30 per cent more risk

This comes after research released earlier this month suggested osteoporosis patients are up to 30 per cent more likely to develop dementia.

Women with the bone-weakening disorder are 30 per cent more at risk of developing the memory-loss condition, while males with osteoporosis are 20 per more likely to develop dementia, according to the first study of its kind.

Study author Dr Louis Jacob, from Paris University, said: "The major hypothesis to explain the association between osteoporosis and dementia is that these two conditions have similar risk factors."

Such risks factors include certain genetic mutations, as well as vitamin and hormone deficiencies.

Osteoporosis affects around one in four women and one in eight men worldwide. Women are more at risk due to them having smaller, thinner bones. Their risk increases post-menopause when the protective hormone oestrogen declines.