3. Dementia risk is down
A study published in the British Medical Journal has found that the risk of developing dementia has fallen steadily since 2002. The study is based on data from a long-term research project following 18,000 men and women over the age of 50.
Between 2002 and 2013, researchers carried out interviews with people about their lifestyle and health. This included whether they were diagnosed with dementia, as well as testing their thinking abilities.
The researchers suggested that an increase in the amount of exercise was the biggest reason for the lower likelihood of developing dementia. Improved cardiovascular health may also play a part. Although a healthy lifestyle won’t protect everyone from dementia, the results show that changing trends could affect how many people develop dementia in total.
Importantly, the researchers predicted that by 2040 the number of people with dementia in England and Wales will increase to 1.2 million. The reason the number is set to increase, even though risk is lower, is that more people are living longer.