Possible risks of dementia
Some health or lifestyle factors have been connected with dementia. But these do not have enough evidence to say that they are major risk factors.
Behavioural risk factors
Some habits or behaviours can be associated with dementia, such as not getting enough sleep or taking caffeinated drinks. But more research is needed to properly understand the connection.
Medical risk factors
Research has shown a link between dementia and infections like herpes and pneumonia. But more research is needed to see if infections contribute to the development of dementia.
Other medical factors, like cholesterol and general anaesthetic, do not have enough evidence to say that they increase a person’s risk of developing dementia.
Environmental risk factors
There is no strong evidence to suggest that exposure to metals like copper, zinc, iron and aluminium increases a person’s risk of dementia.
How we support you
Get advice and information, whether you are worried about your memory, waiting for a referral or already diagnosed.
- Call our support line to speak to a trained adviser
- Visit our online forum to hear from people in the same situation
Get our booklet on reducing your risk of dementia
Dementia: Reducing your risk
If you prefer to read this information in print, our 60 page booklet 'Dementia: Reducing your risk' has full advice and guidance.
Get it by post for free or view the PDF to download a copy.
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Alzheimer's Society dementia support line
Call 0333 150 3456.
If you are affected by dementia, worried about a diagnosis or a carer, trained staff are ready to give you the support you need. Opening hours (excluding bank holidays): Mon to Weds: 9am – 8pm, Thurs and Fri: 9am – 5pm, Sat and Sun: 10am – 4pm.
Last reviewed: December 2023
Next review: December 2025