11 Modifiable Dementia Risks: The Power of Prevention

Identifying And Understanding Dementia Risks

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Is it possible to prevent dementia, a new study reveals that there are 11 key factors to consider.

British researchers have pinpointed 11 crucial risk factors that could determine one’s likelihood of developing dementia in the next 14 years. What’s more, many of these factors are modifiable, offering hope for prevention, according to Metro.

The Preventable Dementia Risks

The ground-breaking study, led by Oxford University and published in BMJ Mental Health, emphasises the importance of understanding and potentially altering these risk factors. The UK Biobank Dementia Risk Score (UKBDRS) was developed after a comprehensive analysis of these factors, outperforming other global risk scores.

The 11 Identified Factors

  • Age: Older individuals naturally have a higher risk.
  • Education: Lower educational levels can increase vulnerability.
  • History of diabetes: Managing and preventing diabetes can reduce the risk.
  • History of or current depression: Mental health plays a pivotal role.
  • History of stroke: Stroke survivors need to be vigilant.
  • Parental dementia: A family history can increase one’s chances.
  • Economic challenges: Financial stability and mental well-being are interconnected.
  • High blood pressure: Regular check-ups and management are essential.
  • High cholesterol: A balanced diet and regular monitoring can help.
  • Living alone: Social connections and interactions are protective.
  • Being male: Men are slightly more at risk than women.

The Power of Prevention

With an estimated 50 million people globally affected by dementia, and numbers set to triple by 2050, the emphasis on these modifiable factors is more crucial than ever. By addressing them it is believed that up to 40 per cent of dementia cases could be averted.

‘The importance of each risk factor varies and given that some of the factors included in the score can be modified or treated, there are things we can all do to help reduce our risk of dementia,’ stated co-author Professor Sana Suri.

‘While older age, 60 and above, and certain genetic factors confer the greatest risk, modifiable factors, such as diabetes, depression, and high blood pressure also play a significant role,’ she added.

Dr Raihaan Patel, the study’s lead author, highlighted the potential of the UKBDRS as an initial screening tool. Those identified as high risk could then benefit from more detailed assessments and interventions.

In conclusion, understanding and addressing the modifiable factors could be the key to reducing the global burden of dementia. Proactive measures and lifestyle changes can make a significant difference in one’s future health.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.


    • not sure

      27 August 2023 • 21:45

      Depression is a rick? BS. Big Pharma drugs are a risk.

      Why don’t you write something worth reading, boy?

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