Some things can increase your risk of getting dementia, including your age, genes and lifestyle. There are also ways you can reduce your risk.
Understanding risk factors for dementia
Use our interactive tool to see how much different factors change the risk of developing dementia.
What do we mean by risk factors?
Find out more about what can affect your risk of developing dementia
Risk factors you can't change
How age, gender, genetics and ethnicity can affect your risk of developing dementia
High blood pressure
High blood pressure in mid-life is a key factor that can increase your risk of developing dementia.
Regular physical exercise is one of the best things that you can do to reduce your risk of getting dementia.
Alternative therapies and treatments
Read more about alternative therapies and treatments, including coconut oil, cannabis, massage, and more.
Evidence shows that a diet rich in fruit, vegetables and cereals and low in red meat and sugar could help reduce risk of dementia.
Head injuries sustained during certain sports have been linked to a dementia-like condition, but the evidence is not clear-cut.
There is strong evidence that smoking increases dementia risk, but stopping smoking can bring that risk back down.
Heavy drinking is known to increase dementia risk and it is best to keep within NHS-recommended guidelines for drinking alcohol.
Several infections have been suggested to increase risk of dementia but the evidence behind this is not clear cut.
There has been speculation that some metals, including aluminium, could be linked to risk of dementia, especially Alzheimer's disease. The current evidence does not support a role for metals from food or cookware in the development of Alzheimer's.
There is evidence that particles from air pollution can enter the brain, but whether this affects dementia development is not clear.
Women are at a higher risk of dementia and research suggests that hormones could be one reason why.
Keeping your brain active can help to boost certain aspects of memory and thinking but it is not clear whether this can prevent or delay dementia.
High cholesterol in midlife has been linked to dementia but studies in this area have produced mixed results.
There is little evidence that antioxidants alone can prevent dementia, although food high in antioxidants can have many health benefits.
Cinnamon has produced some interesting results in the lab when targeting Alzheimer's disease hallmarks but only at levels that would be toxic to people.
Some studies have suggested that caffeine could reduce dementia risk but the overall evidence for this is unclear.
Turmeric and curcumin show some promise in the lab but studies in people have not produced convincing evidence that they are protective against dementia.
General anaesthetics and dementia risk
General anaesthetics can have a short-term effect on memory but it is not clear whether they can affect the brain in the long-term.
Genetic testing kits
Several companies offer home-testing genetic kits for Alzheimer's disease, but the results do not tell us the whole story about our risk of Alzheimer's.