12 modifiable risk factors that could reduce dementia globally by 40%

Posted on the 11th January 2021

12 risk factors have been identified which, if mitigated, could reduce future cases of dementia by 40% globally. Some are more difficult than others to avoid but there are things that you can do to reduce your risk of dementia.

The 12 risk factors are:

  • Early life:
    • Less education – higher and longer lasting education is proven in improve cognitive performance
  • Mid-life:
    • Hearing loss
    • Hypertension
    • Obesity
    • Excessive alcohol intake
    • Head injury
  • Later life (65+):
    • Smoking
    • Depression
    • Social isolation
    • Physical inactivity
    • Diabetes
    • Air pollution

In countries such as the United States, UK and France, cases of dementia in older people seem to be falling slightly in part due to better lifestyle in early age and better treatment of heart disease.

Here are some changes you can make:

  • Aim to maintain systolic blood pressure of 130 mm Hg or less from the age of 40.
  • Encourage use of hearing aids for hearing loss and reduce hearing loss by protecting ears from high noise levels.
  • Reduce exposure to air pollution and second-hand tobacco smoke.
  • Prevent head injury (particularly by targeting high-risk occupations).
  • Limit alcohol intake to no more than 21 units per week (one unit of alcohol equals 10 ml or 8 g pure alcohol).
  • Stop smoking and support others to stop smoking.
  • Lead an active life into mid-life and possibly later life.
  • Reduce obesity and the linked condition of diabetes.

Read further here

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