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An international team of experts has found evidence that avoiding nine risk factors throughout life could prevent up to 35% of dementia cases. For example, staying in school until age 15 or older is associated with a lower risk of dementia. Other steps patients can take in mid- or later life are:

 

* reducing hearing loss.

 

* reducing obesity.

 

* controlling hypertension.

 

* reducing smoking.

 

* preventing depression.

 

* remaining physically active.

 

* avoiding social isolation.

 

* controlling diabetes.

 

The three risk factors that make the most difference in dementia prevention are hearing loss prevention (9% risk reduction), staying in school (8% risk reduction), and quitting smoking (5% risk reduction).

 

The number of people with dementia worldwide is expected to reach 131 million by 2050. Researchers say taking preventive action now can have an impact on a person's personal health as well as dramatically relieving the burden on healthcare systems.

 

Sources: Livingston G, Sommerlad A, Orgeta V, et al. Dementia prevention, intervention, and care. Lancet. [e-pub July 19, 2017]. Targeting 9 risk factors could prevent 1 in 3 dementia cases: study. HealthDay. July 20, 2017.

  
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