One-third of dementia cases around the world could be prevented through lifestyle management, a new report says
Specialists discovered that a better management of lifestyle factors such as smoking, depression, hypertension, and hearing loss could possibly reduce the cases of dementia.
Worldwide, 47 million people are living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. This already big number is forecasted to triple by 2050, as the population ages. It is estimated that the price tag on dementia costs is somewhere around $818 billion.
A new study published in The Lancet brought together 24 international experts in order to review the already existing dementia research and recommend treatments and prevention methods.
“Dementia is the greatest global challenge for health and social care in the 21st century,” lead study author Professor Gill Livingston, of University College London, told CBS News. “The purpose of the commission was therefore to address it by consolidating the huge strides and emerging knowledge as to what we should do to prevent dementia and intervene and care for people with dementia.”
However, there hasn’t been found a drug treatment to prevent or cure dementia, yet. However, the report highlights the impact that non-drug interventions and the modification of certain lifestyle factors have on the likelihood of developing dementia.
In order to reduce the risk of developing the terrible disease, the following factors should be taken into consideration:
- Getting an education (staying in school until over 15 years old)
- Reducing high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes
- Avoiding or treating hearing loss
- Not smoking
- Reducing depression and social isolation
That’s because 35% of dementia cases are attributable to the above factors, as the analysis discovered; this means that removing them could, theoretically, prevent 1 in 3 cases.