Healthier Lifestyle May Prevent 1 in 3 Cases of Dementia

Healthier Lifestyle May Prevent 1 in 3 Cases of Dementia

New medical research reveals that dementia and other cognitive mental changes can be directly influenced by lifestyle habits, often habits that form when we’re children and persist as we age. The researchers found that more than a third of diagnosed dementia might have been prevented if the patients had pursued lifestyle changes to enhance their mental health before the onset of dementia. The research also points to how treatment of dementia might be enhanced through changes in dietary and activity habits.

Among the risk factors the neurologists conducting the study identified were smoking into old age, or being diabetic and elderly. Obesity, low levels of physical activity, depression, and social isolation were also marked. But they also listed hearing loss that goes untreated, and abandoning education prior to fifteen years of age, which sound a little surprising to some since we think of dementia as an “old person’s” disease. But the study controlled its participants for a wide range of factors, and is confident in their results.

For example, the education factor. They indicate that leaving school before age 15 increases a person’s risk of later dementia by eight percent. They list untreated hearing loss as increasing dementia risk by nine percent. Smoking is linked to a five percent higher chance of dementia.

They call for additional research into these risk factors, to better understand why they affect risk as they do; but they say dementia can be battled more effectively even while that research gets underway if populations will embrace these lifestyle changes.

Key Points:

  • 1Ending your education at a young age increases your risk for dementia.
  • 2A lack of exercising plays a huge role on increasing dementia.
  • 3As a society we must create ways to effectively prevent dementia and we must be patient with those that are already affected.

Finally, if all smokers older than 65 quit smoking, dementia would decrease by 5%.

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