Risk Factors for Dementia

August 6th, 2021 | Posted in Info

Risk Factors for DementiaPopulation aging is one of the biggest challenges of the twenty-first century. 1 in 3 babies born in the UK today are expected to celebrate their 100th birthday. Longer life expectancy is likely to lead to an increased number of people living with dementia. It’s usual for older people to experience changes in conceptual reasoning, memory, and processing speed. This is part of the ageing process (1). The problems start when forgetting a few things develops into dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. The World Health Organization estimates that the number of people living with dementia is 50 million globally. By 2030, this is projected to rise to 75 million. This will put unprecedented pressure on health care services. The good news is that dementia is not an inevitable consequence of aging. Indeed, the incidence of dementia has fallen in many countries, probably because of improvements in education, nutrition, health care, and lifestyle.

Twelve modifiable risk factors for dementia have been identified. They include:

1. Being less educated

2. High blood pressure

3. Hearing impairment

4. Smoking

5. Obesity

6. Depression

7. Physical inactivity

8. Diabetes

9. Low social contact

10. Alcohol consumption

11. Traumatic brain injury

12. Air pollution.

Modifying these 12 risk factors over a lifetime could delay or prevent 40% of dementia cases, according to a report by the Lancet Commission on dementia prevention, intervention and care (2). It is never too early or too late to start looking after your brain health. In this month’s blog we’ll look at dietary and lifestyle interventions that can help to keep your brain healthy.