Effective ways to reduce risk

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The National Center for Health Statistics recently reported that people who die of dementia have more than doubled in the United States. The number increased to 66.7 deaths per 100,000 Americans in 2017 from 30.5 deaths in 2000.

Dementia affects people through a variety of diseases, including Alzheimer's, vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and Pick's disease. The Alzheimer's Association estimates that 5.8 million Americans currently live with Alzheimer's and the number will increase over the next few decades.

However, a common misconception about dementia is that it only affects the elderly. Health experts have said that the disease is not a normal part of aging.

Since Alzheimer's and other types of dementia should affect more people in the future, it is important to know how to prevent the disease. Some simple activities could protect you or a loved one against dementia.

Exeter University researchers have recently discovered that a healthy lifestyle could significantly reduce the risk of dementia. The team noted that lifestyle changes promote the same benefits for people with or without the genetic risk or family history of the disease, MarketWatch reports.

The new study, published in the journal JAMA, shows that a healthy lifestyle could reduce the risk of dementia by 32%. Meanwhile, those people who had both genetic risk and a poor lifestyle were almost three times more likely to develop the disease.

The results come from the data analysis of 196,383 adults aged 60 or over.

"This research provides a truly important message that undermines a fatalistic view of dementia," said David Llewellyn, author of the study and associate professor at the University of Exeter Medical School. "Some people believe that it is inevitable that they will develop dementia due to their genetics."

How to prevent dementia

To help avoid dementia and its effects, researchers recommended avoiding certain products and activities to maintain health. The team said that people should reduce their consumption of sugar and salt and avoid or stop smoking cigarettes.

An high intake of anticholinergic drugs, such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, anti-Parkinson drugs, antiepileptic drugs and bladder antimuscarinics, have also been linked to an increased risk of dementia.

Senior citizen Dementia affects people through a variety of diseases, including Alzheimer's, vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and Pick's disease. Pixabay

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