Today I am posting information from the Alzheimer’s Society UK website, on risk factors for dementia.
Research has identified many risk factors associated with dementia. It’s impossible to eliminate every single one; after all we can’t avoid age, which is the most significant. Medical conditions such as diabetes, stroke and heart problems, as well as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity in mid-life, are all known to increase the risk of both Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. Anyone can reduce their risk by keeping these under control. Depression is a probable risk factor for dementia; getting it treated early is important. Isolation is also another risk factor.
People who adopt a healthy lifestyle, especially from mid-life onwards, are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. This means taking regular physical exercise and keeping to a healthy weight, not smoking, eating a healthy balanced diet and drinking only in moderation. Leading an active lifestyle that combines regular physical, social and mental activity will help to lower risk.
- If you are over 40 (or have a history of dementia/cardiovascular problems in your family) you should get your cholesterol levels checked regularly. Managing your cholesterol by eating a balanced diet that avoids saturated fats will also help. Find out about managing cholesterol
- If you are over 40 (or have a history of dementia/cardiovascular problems in your family) you should get regular blood pressure checks to ensure it is at recommended levels. Find out about managing blood pressure
- Avoid obesity and weight gain by eating healthily and taking exercise – not only will this help reduce your risk of dementia but also your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Check if you are a healthy weight for your height
- Change your lifestyle to incorporate regular exercise in the long term – try to be physically active for at least 30 minutes, five times a week. Tips on exercise
- Try and stop smoking – this will be of huge benefit to your health in a number of ways as well as reducing your risk of dementia. Get advice on how to give up smoking
- Adopt a balanced diet for life. It’s fine to treat yourself to the occasional slice of cake but try to eat healthily and moderate your fat intake most of the time. A Mediterranean style diet may help reduce risk and is relatively easy to follow. Find out more about healthy eating
- Overall, try to lead an active lifestyle that combines physical, social and mental activity. Not only will it help to reduce your risk of dementia, you’ll hopefully enjoy life more as a result!