Dementia with Lewy bodies

3. Who is affected?

DLB accounts for around 4 per cent of all recorded dementia, but there is good evidence that the condition is not always diagnosed correctly. Based on studies of brain tissue after death, scientists think DLB may account for as much as 10-15 per cent of all dementia.

DLB appears to affect men and women equally. As with Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia, DLB becomes more common over the age of 65. However, it can also affect people under 65.

Other than age, there are few risk factors (such as medical conditions or lifestyle choices) that are known to increase a person's chances of developing DLB. Most people who develop DLB have no clear family history of the condition. A few families seem to have genetic mutations that are linked to inherited Lewy body disease, but these are very rare. For more on this see our Genetics of dementia factsheet.