Scientists from Oxford University and the University of Exeter found that having multiple conditions that affect the heart is linked to a greater risk of dementia than having a high genetic risk.
The research is published in The Lancet Healthy Longevity and was conducted by Dr. Xin You Tai et al.
Dementia is a major global issue, with predictions that 135 million worldwide will have the devastating condition by 2050.
In the study, the team looked at data from more than 200,000 people, aged 60 or above and of European ancestry, in UK Biobank.
They identified those who had been diagnosed with diabetes, stroke, a heart attack, or any combination of the three and those who went on to develop dementia.
Nearly 20,000 of the UK Biobank participants they studied had been diagnosed with one of the three conditions. Just over 2,000 had two conditions, and 122 had all three.
The researchers found that the more of these three conditions a person had, the higher their risk of dementia.
People who had all three conditions were three times more likely to develop dementia than people who had a high genetic risk.
The findings showed that whatever genetic risk people were born with, they can potentially make a big impact on reducing the risk of dementia by looking after heart and metabolic health throughout life.
The team says for people who have a diagnosis of diabetes, stroke, or a heart attack, it is particularly important to look after their health and ensure they are on the right treatment, to prevent further problems as well as to reduce their dementia risk.
“If anyone is worried about the health of your heart or your brain, please speak to your doctor.”
If you care about dementia, please read studies that lack of this vitamin may lead to dementia, and findings of drug that may increase dementia risk.
For more information about brain health, please see recent studies about common tooth disease that may increase the risk of dementia, and results showing Mediterranean diet may protect against memory loss and dementia.
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