Dementia is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the world. It currently affects more than 55 million people worldwide.
It is time to act. Even people genetically predisposed to dementia can reduce their chances of suffering from it by committing to a healthy lifestyle.
43% of these people could be prevented from this disease if they follow healthy habits: a healthy diet, regular exercise and not smoking can help.
It is certain that healthy lifestyles reduce the risk of dementia, but this has now been proven to apply to people with genetic variants that increase their risk.
Dementia is the seventh deadliest disease in the world.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), dementia causes millions of older people to live their last days in disability and dependency. We can estimate that by 2050 dementia cases will increase to 139 million due to the aging of the population in almost all countries.
The number of dementia cases is increasing worldwide
A sharp increase in cases is expected in Italy, Spain, Germany, and France within 30 years.
OECD projections indicate poor results for 2050. Italy will have 43 cases of dementia per 1,000 people, 20 more cases than in 2021. Spain expects 41 cases per 1,000 people, and Germany and France expect 35 cases per 1,000 people.
However, good habits such as regular exercise, avoiding tobacco and alcohol consumption, and eating a balanced diet make a difference in preventing dementia. Also, it could help reduce the number, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). This set of lifestyle habits is important to keep in mind for good cardiovascular health.
However, old age is expected to increase to 78 million by 2030 and 139 million by 2050, as the population ages more and more.
Alzheimer’s, stroke, as well as various illnesses and traumas can cause dementia-related symptoms.
This can negatively affect the ability to perform daily tasks. Disruptions in memory and other cognitive functions are serious.
7 Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Dementia
Even genetically predisposed people can reduce their risk of dementia by adopting a healthy lifestyle.
Habits to adopt are:
1. Healthy blood pressure. Your heart, arteries, and kidneys are less stressed when your blood pressure is within the healthy range.
2. Cholesterol under control. In addition to clogging arteries, high cholesterol can cause heart disease and stroke.
3. Blood sugar levels. There is damage to the heart, kidneys, eyes, and nerves by high blood sugar levels.
4. Physical activity. Exercise to extend and improve life expectancy.
5. Diet. The best way to prevent cardiovascular disease is to eat a healthy diet.
6. Watch your weight. Your heart, lungs, blood vessels, and skeleton will be less burdened by losing a few kilos.
7. Quit smoking. Heart disease is one of the serious diseases smokers are most likely to develop.
These habits are also linked to Alzheimer’s, one of the main causes of dementia, depending on its variants linked to greater or lesser probabilities.
Studies found that people who live healthily have a lower risk of developing dementia than those who do not live well. 43% for Europeans and 17% for Africans.
The risk of dementia has a number of factors. There are things we can’t change, like age and genetic makeup, but there are things we can, like diet and exercise. In short, what is good for the heart is also good for the brain.
This will benefit society as a whole if the adoption of these healthy habits reduces the development of dementia. The WHO has reported that dementia has high economic and social costs worldwide. By 2030, informal caregivers will spend more than 2.8 trillion dollars in caring for these patients.
Several global organizations are working to speed up the prevention and treatment of the condition. Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative will invest $700 million over six years in drug and diagnostic development as an Alzheimer’s initiative.
Alzheimer’s can affect anyone, regardless of economic, racial, or geographic background.
It is known that there is still a long way to go to cure Alzheimer’s (and therefore dementia). However, there are already people studying the condition, with the purpose of making sure that it is a benefit for all. Also, they aim to include low- and middle-income countries in their efforts, to benefit all racial and ethnic legacies.
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