How to reduce dementia risk

“Diet, sleep and physical and mental exercise are all imperative to safeguarding against dementia.”

– Dr. MacSweeney

Although the risk of dementia increases with age, the CDCTrusted Source advises several lifestyle habits that will improve your brain health as you age and reduce your risk of developing the condition. These include trying to:

  • Maintain a healthy weight and keep active.
  • Manage your blood sugar levels, particularly if you have diabetes.
  • Prevent high blood pressure, and manage it if you do have high blood pressure.
  • Look after your hearing — if you have hearing loss, get it corrected.
  • Drink alcohol only in moderation, and avoid binge drinking.
  • Quit smoking — stopping smoking reduces your risk of not only dementia but also heart disease, lung cancer, and other lung diseases.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, older Black people are twice as likely as older white people to have dementia. A complex combination of factors, such as racism, structural inequality, and socioeconomic barriers to high quality healthcare, contribute to this risk.

Dr. MacSweeney commented:

“The paper does not delve into the specific social factors or obstacles that people from ethnic minorities may face or have faced, which might elevate their risk of dementia.”

“However, it indirectly suggests that risk factors including hypertension, obesity and diabetes, which are more common in minority ethnic groups, may be linked to social determinants, such as healthcare access, lifestyle and cultural differences,” she added.

In a press release, the authors said their findings highlight the need for “tailored dementia prevention, taking into account ethnicity and risk factor profile to ensure dementia prevention is equitable.”