Study highlights lifestyle factors that could reduce risk of dementia

Published 6 August 2010

Researchers in the UK and France are recommending that reducing depression and diabetes, increasing education and eating more fruit and vegetables may reduce the number of people developing dementia.

Reducing heart disease and stroke was also identified as important. The study, which has been published on  today (Friday 6 August) analysed the lifestyle and health of 1,433 people over 65 living in the south of France over seven years. It concluded that effectively reducing depression and diabetes would outweigh the effect of removing the principal known genetic risk factor for late onset dementia, if that was possible.

Alzheimer's Society comment:

'This important study builds on existing evidence that a healthy lifestyle can lower your risk of dementia even more than if we had been allowed to select our genes ourselves. A million more people are set to develop dementia in the next 10 years.  Effective prevention of diabetes, depression and heart disease could potentially improve the lives of millions of people affected by this cruel condition and reduce the billions spent on dementia care each year. With the numbers of people with dementia rising quickly it is important that everyone manages their own risk and that as a society we invest in further dementia research that will one day help us find a cure.'

Professor Clive Ballard
Director of Research
Alzheimer's Society

Ref: K. Ritchie, et al. 'Designing prevention programmes to reduce incidence of dementia: prospective cohort study of modifiable risk factors,' BMJ 2010

Print this page