How to avoid dementia, maybe

How to avoid dementia, maybe

The authors of a recent article in The Lancet found nine “potentially modifiable” risk factors that appear to account for 35% of dementia:

Our results suggest that around 35% of dementia is attributable to a combination of the following nine risk factors: education to a maximum of age 11–12 years, midlife hypertension, midlife obesity, hearing loss, late-life depression, diabetes, physical inactivity, smoking, and social isolation.

I suspect that genetic factors may affect these risk factors as well, so making behavior changes focused on  these factors may have a limited effect on dementia risk (the authors themselves acknowledge that “[t]he available evidence for the effect of lifestyle changes on cognitive decline is mixed”). But since changing behavior to avoid these nine risk factors is something we should be doing anyway, it’s good to know it might reduce dementia risk too.

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