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Four in 10 dementia cases could be prevented or delayed by targeting risk factors, report says

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: (Published 03 August 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m3050
  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

Around 40% of dementia cases worldwide could have potentially been delayed or prevented if 12 risk factors had been targeted, the Lancet commission on dementia has said.1

The 28 dementia experts on the commission have added three modifiable risk factors to the nine they advised on in 2017: excessive alcohol consumption, traumatic brain injury, and air pollution.

The nine factors they previously highlighted were less education, hypertension, hearing impairment, smoking, obesity, depression, physical inactivity, diabetes, and low social contact.

“Together the 12 modifiable risk factors account for around 40% of worldwide dementias, which consequently could theoretically be prevented or delayed. The potential for prevention is high and might be higher in low-income and middle-income countries where more dementias occur,” the report said.

Around 50 million of the world’s people have dementia, and this number …

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