One in three cases of dementia could be prevented

One in three cases of dementia could be prevented if more people looked after their brain health throughout life, according to an international study in the Lancet.

It lists nine key risk factors including lack of education, hearing loss, smoking and physical inactivity.

The study is being presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in London.

Nine lifestyle factors that contribute to the risk of dementia

  • mid-life hearing loss – responsible for 9% of the risk
  • failing to complete secondary education – 8%
  • smoking – 5%
  • failing to seek early treatment for depression – 4%
  • physical inactivity – 3%
  • social isolation – 2%
  • high blood pressure – 2%
  • obesity – 1%
  • type 2 diabetes – 1

These risk factors – which are thought to be modifiable – add up to 35%. The other 65% of dementia risk is beyond the individual’s control.

Source: Lancet Commission on dementia prevention, intervention and care