7 risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease

Risk factors for Alzheimer's disease

The 7 biggest risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease

New research carried out by the University of Cambridge has revealed the seven most risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease.

With the research suggesting that up to one-in-three cases of medical dementia could be prevented if people led different lifestyles.

Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s or some of the many other kinds of dementia at the moment we can cut down our risk by trying to lead healthier lifestyles.

We look at 7 of the most common risk factors that have been highlighted by the research that puts you at a greater risk of developing dementia.

The seven risk factors for developing Alzheimer’s disease are:

  • Physical inactivity (lack of exercise)
  • Smoking
  • Lack of education
  • Midlife hypertension (stress)
  • Midlife obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Depression

Of the seven risk factors mentioned above that put you at a greater risk of Alzheimer’s, the four main risk factors for the disease are a lack of exercise, smoking, depression and poor education.

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Reducing the risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease

Prof Carol Brayne, from the Institute of Public Health at the University of Cambridge, said: “Although there is no single way to treat dementia, we may be able to take steps to reduce our risk of developing dementia at older ages.

“We know what many of these factors are, and that they are often linked.

“Simply tackling physical inactivity, for example, will reduce levels of obesity, hypertension and diabetes, and prevent some people from developing dementia.

“As well as being healthier in old age in general, it’s a win-win situation.”

Dr Simon Ridley, head of research at charity Alzheimer’s Research UK, said there was still much to discover about the disease.

“While age is the biggest risk factor for most cases of Alzheimer’s, there are a number of lifestyle and general health factors that could increase or decrease a person’s chances of developing the disease.

“However, we still do not fully understand the mechanisms behind how these factors are related to the onset of Alzheimer’s.”

The single biggest contributor to Alzheimer’s disease is age. But because we get older doesn’t mean we have to become unhealthy. Simple daily exercises will go along way to helping fight off the disease as we get older.


If you would like to read the report in full you can find the full article on the research into the prevention of dementia on the Lancet website here. Sorry this article on the Lancet website has now been removed.

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