Approximately 40% of dementia cases may be prevented or delayed by modifying 12 risk factors
Three additional risk factors for dementia have been added to the 2017 Lancet Commission on dementia prevention, intervention, and care, according to an updated 2020 report by the Lancet Commission.
The risk factors include excessive alcohol consumption, traumatic brain injury, and air pollution, and join the previous 9 of less education, hypertension, hearing impairment, smoking, obesity, depression, physical inactivity, diabetes, and low social contact.
According the report, these 12 risk factors account for around 40% of worldwide dementias. Modifying these risk factors could potentially prevent or delay dementia, with the potential for prevention greater in low-income and middle-income countries, where dementia occurs more frequently.
“Our new life-course model and evidence synthesis has paramount worldwide policy implications. It is never too early and never too late in the life course for dementia prevention,” wrote the authors. “Early-life (younger than 45 years) risks, such as less education, affect cognitive reserve; midlife (45–65 years), and later-life (older than 65 years) risk factors influence reserve and triggering of neuropathological developments. Culture, poverty, and inequality are key drivers of the need for change. Individuals who are most deprived need these changes the most and will derive the highest benefit.”
Livingston G, Huntley J, Sommerlad A, et al. Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission. Lancet 2020; DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30367-6.