By addressing these 12 risk factors, you can prevent or delay dementia – Health

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Almost 40% of all dementia diagnoses can be delayed by intervening on about 12 risk factors from childhood. Scientists report that striking conclusion during the international conference of the Alzheimer Association.

In previous reports, 9 risk factors that were clearly associated with the development of dementia had already been identified. These 9 together account for about 34% of dementia cases. The experts from the dementia committee of the scientific journal The Lancet are now adding three more, who are considered jointly responsible for another 6% of the diagnoses. The three new risks are contracting head and brain injuries in middle age (accounting for 3% of dementia diagnoses), excessive use of alcohol of 21 units per week or more (1%) and exposure to air pollution (2%).

Trend

Today, an estimated 50 million people worldwide live with some form of dementia. Scientific forecasts predict that this number will rise to 152 million by 2050. This increase is most likely to continue in low-wage countries. At the same time, the researchers found that in some countries, the number of elderly people affected by this disease is still declining. They suspect that this trend is the result of various preventive interventions such as better educational facilities, nutrition, health care and lifestyle adjustments. “This report shows that policymakers, as well as individuals, do have a number of options for putting forward or even preventing dementia for as long as possible,” emphasizes Prof. Gill Livingston (University College London).

The 12 factors

These preventive measures have the most impact if they are started as early as possible in life. Of the 12 risk factors for dementia that you can influence yourself, it is attending primary and secondary education after all, the one with the greatest influence, along with hearing loss around middle age in to smoke. These (lifestyle) factors complete the risk row: high blood pressure, obesity, depression, social isolation, little or no exercise in diabetes.

What can you do specifically?

  • Check your blood pressure and aim for an upper pressure value of 130 mmHg or less from the age of 40.
  • If you suffer from hearing loss, tackle this through hearing aids or other aids. Also protect your hearing against noise nuisance. If you can’t avoid it, use safe earplugs.
  • Avoid exposure to cigarette smoke and air pollution
  • Stop smoking
  • Wear a helmet while cycling or stepping to prevent head injuries.
  • Tackle obesity and stay physically active at any age.
  • Limit your alcohol intake

In previous reports, 9 risk factors that were clearly associated with the development of dementia had already been identified. These 9 together account for about 34% of dementia cases. The experts from the dementia committee of the scientific journal The Lancet are now adding three more, who are considered jointly responsible for another 6% of the diagnoses. The three new risks are the incidence of head and brain injuries in middle age (accounting for 3% of dementia diagnoses), excessive alcohol consumption of 21 units per week or more (1%) and exposure to air pollution (2%). An estimated 50 million people today live with some form of dementia. Scientific forecasts predict that this number will rise to 152 million by 2050. This increase is most likely to continue in low-wage countries. At the same time, the researchers found that in some countries, the number of elderly people affected by this disease is still declining. They suspect that this trend is the result of various preventive interventions such as better educational facilities, nutrition, health care and lifestyle adjustments. “This report shows that policymakers, as well as individuals, do have a number of options for putting forward or even preventing dementia for as long as possible,” emphasizes Prof. Gill Livingston (University College London). the most impact if it is started as early as possible in life. After all, of the 12 risk factors for dementia that you can influence yourself, following primary and secondary education is the one with the greatest influence, along with hearing loss around middle age and smoking. These (lifestyle) factors complete the risk row: high blood pressure, obesity, depression, social isolation, little or no exercise and diabetes.

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