From Hearing Loss to Loneliness, the NINE Dementia Risk Factors

Daily Mail (London), July 20, 2017 | Go to article overview

From Hearing Loss to Loneliness, the NINE Dementia Risk Factors


Byline: Rosie Taylor

ONE in three dementia cases could be prevented by lifestyle changes to reduce nine risk factors, a major global report will reveal today.

It highlights the dangers, including obesity, smoking and high blood pressure, which need to be avoided to lower the threat by more than a third.

This is the first time scientists have been able to prove how much of dementia is preventable.

The public should not see it as 'an inevitable part of ageing' but take responsibility to reduce their own risk, like they would with cancer or heart disease, they warned.

The senior dementia experts also urged doctors to crack down on high blood pressure which could help prevent one in 50 dementia cases.

There are believed to be up to 1 million Britons living with the condition. The report said that reducing risks should start in childhood but making changes even when in your late 70s could still lower the risk.

Ensuring everyone was educated to at least the age of 15 would cut the total number of dementia cases by 8 per cent, it added. In middle age, treat-ing hearing loss would have the greatest impact, with a drop of 9 per cent if the problem was eliminated.

Stopping all smoking in the over-65s would cut cases by 5 per cent and treating depression would stop 4 per cent. Ending physical inactivity in the over-65s would cut cases by 3 per cent while preventing social isolation and diabetes in old age would cause drops of 2 per cent and 1 per cent respectively.

Other risks include high blood pressure and obesity in middle age so preventing these would cut cases by 2 per cent and 1 per cent respectively, said the report in The Lancet medical journal.

Just a 1 per cent reduction in cases would mean 8,500 fewer Britons developing dementia.

If all nine health and lifestyle risks were eliminated, around 35 per cent of all dementia cases would be prevented - equivalent to saving around 300,000 in the UK from the disease. …

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