It often begins with forgetfulness and small lapses, but can take on serious proportions: over 1.5 million people in Germany suffer from it dementiathe most common cause of this is a Alzheimer’s disease. However, a new study shows that a large proportion of cases could be avoided. But they would have to risk factors be more present and better minimized.
The greatest risk factor for a disease with “Alzheimer’s disease” is considered to be progressive age. In view of demographic change, experts therefore expect the number of dementia diagnoses to increase over the next few years. “The older you get, the greater the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Most of those affected are older than 80 yearsonly in rare cases does the disease begin before the age of 65,” explains the German Alzheimer Society to.
Preventing Alzheimer’s: Researchers measure modifiable factors
As early as 2020, a research team from the USA research results presentedaccording to which more than one in three outbreaks of Alzheimer’s with corresponding medical prevention would have been avoidable. A new July 2022 studyalso from the USA, confirms these findings: “We recently measured that 36.9 percent of Alzheimer’s cases and similar dementia diseases have modifiable risk factors go back,” says the report on the study, in which, among others, the researcher Coles Hoffmann from the “University of California” in San Francisco was involved.
Experts distinguish between risk factors that cannot be influenced and those that can be influenced, ie modifiable, are. In the case of the latter, the individual lifestyle plays a particularly important role, for example eating habits, alcohol consumption and fitness. The most important factors that can be decisive for dementia are:
- physical activity
- high blood pressure
- low level of education
For the California area from which the test subjects from the study, a proportion of almost 29 percent was calculated in which one or more of the risk factors mentioned were triggers for dementia. Extrapolated to the USA, the researchers came to around 37 percent and thus almost 2.3 million patients with a better prevention might never have gotten sick.
During the influence of the factor lack of exercise was around ten percent, the research team found that a low level of education turns out just as high as overweight (both nearly 15 percent). According to the study, minimizing these three risk factors by 25 percent would already have a drastic effect on the number of cases and enable a reduction of around 445,000 cases. The team is also investigating whether a regional adapted dementia prevention would make sense in the future.
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