Living better and living longer: Women share their secrets

Professor Cassandra Szoeke has unlocked the secrets of women living better and longer.

Her book Secrets of Women’s Healthy Ageing published in 2021 is based on over 30 years of research.

To celebrate Women’s Health Week (Monday 5 September- Sunday 11 September) Professor Szoeke will deliver a summary of her findings and some free advice for a healthier lifestyle.

Banner which reads: University House presents a Women's Health Week Event which will showcase the University of Melbourne's Women's Healthy Ageing Project, the longest running study of women's health in Australia. Principal Investigator Professor Cassandra Szoeke will discuss her bestselling book 'Secrets of Women's Healthy Aging' at University House with Professor Anne-Maree Kelly. They will discuss the wisdom revealed by this comprehensive study, showing how to promote overall wellness, and providing the key ingredients for living a long and healthy life. Regular exercise in middle age is the best lifestyle change a person can make to prevent cognitive decline in the later years, her landmark 30-year study has found.

University researchers followed 387 Australian women from the Women’s Healthy Ageing Project for three decades. The women were aged from 45 to 55 when the study began in 1992.

The research team noted their lifestyle factors, including exercise and diet, education, marital and employment status, number of children, mood, physical activity and smoking.

The women’s hormone levels, cholesterol, blood sugar, height, weight, Body Mass Index and blood pressure were recorded at every assessment throughout the study. Hormone replacement therapy was also factored in.

When measuring memory loss over 30 years, frequent physical activity, normal blood pressure and high good cholesterol were all strongly associated with better recall.

“We know that once dementia occurs, it is irreversible,” Professor Szoeke said.  “Dementia is also the leading cause of death in Australian Women”.

But regular exercise of any type, from walking the dog to mountain climbing, is the number one protective factor against memory loss.

Professor Szoeke says the best effects came from cumulative exercise, that is, how much you do and how often over the course of your life.

Professor Cassandra Szoeke talking on Secrets of Women’s Healthy Ageing

Where: University House, Professor's Walk

When: 5:30pm-7:00pm, Wednesday 7 September

Tickets and further information:

Professor Szoeke is available for interviews during Women’s Health Week’ Monday 5 September- Sunday 11 September.

More Information

Annie Rahilly

+61 432 758 734