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15 factors that may raise risk of getting early dementia, according to study

15 factors that may raise risk of getting early dementia, according to study 15 factors that may raise risk of getting early dementia (Getty Images)

A recent study found that various aspects of how you live can increase the chance of getting early-onset dementia before turning 65, according to Health.

The study, published in JAMA Neurology, found 15 factors that might raise the risk of developing this condition. Some of these factors, like low blood pressure when standing up, depression, and issues with alcohol, can be changed or prevented. Others, like having certain genes, can't be changed.

The study looked at more than 350,000 people under 65 in the UK Biobank, a big health database. They found that genes, the environment, and health habits could affect the risk of getting dementia early.

The risk factors:

  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Lower formal education
  • Social isolation
  • Lower socioeconomic status
  • Orthostatic hypotension
  • Two copies of the APOE4 gene
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • High C-reactive protein levels
  • Lower handgrip strength
  • No alcohol use
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Hearing impairment
  • Diabetes
  • Depression

All these factors can harm the brain in similar ways, leading to inflammation and damage from harmful chemicals. They also affect how well the brain can use glucose to power its cells, which is crucial for preventing dementia, including Alzheimer's.

15 factors that may raise risk of getting early dementia, according to study

15 factors that may raise risk of getting early dementia (freepik.com)

These factors aren't separate but often go hand in hand. For example, someone with alcohol problems may also have nutritional issues, depression, and other health problems. These factors can lead to chronic conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke, creating a cycle that increases the risk of dementia.

Because early-onset dementia is more severe, it's essential to focus on changing things you can control to lower the risk. Based on the study results, experts recommend engaging in regular physical exercise, following a Mediterranean-style diet, and practicing cognitive, mood, and social stimulation techniques. These could include educational activities, lifelong learning, stress reduction practices like mindfulness and yoga, and maintaining strong social connections.

Check out also 6 eating habits to help you live longer and what to change in diet to live 13 years longer.