GMTV presenter Fiona Phillips, who quit her job because she fears she may develop Alzheimer’s, should focus on a healthy lifestyle to minimise her risk, a charity said on Monday.
The early-morning TV star, 47, abandoned her 1.5 million pound contract because both her parents suffered from the condition.
She wants to focus on caring for her two young sons and her father Phil. The presenter’s mother, Amy, died two years ago.
Fiona told the Sunday Times: “I’m 47 and my mum was in her late 50s when she developed Alzheimer’s, so I am very aware that I may have only 10 years left of life as I know it.
“I must admit that it has contributed to my feeling of time flashing by. Why slog away getting up at 4am when you might not be able to look after your family in the way you want to later on?”
According to the Alzheimer’s Society, medical research has identified four genes that influence whether someone will develop the disease.
On average, half the children of a person with one of these genes will inherit the defect. But a spokeswoman for the charity said that while these genes mean an increased risk of developing the condition, it is not definite that the person will get Alzheimer’s.
She said: “For these people the most important thing is focusing on a healthy lifestyle. If you are at increased risk it’s about managing the other factors.”