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Lifestyle changes could prevent a third of dementia cases

RISK: A third of dementia cases could be prevented through some lifestyle changes, according to new research

A THIRD of cases of dementia could be ­prevented by making simple lifestyle changes, experts have revealed.

Better education in early life, addressing hearing loss, high blood pressure and obesity in mid-life, could cut rates by a fifth, new findings suggest.

Cutting out smoking, treating depression, exercising, socialising and managing diabetes in old age could reduce the incidence by a further 15 per cent.

Tackling all nine factors would together see 35 per cent fewer cases of the debilitating brain disease.

Study leader Professor Gill Livingston, of University College London, said:

“Although dementia is diagnosed in later life, the brain changes usually begin to develop years before.

“Risk factors for developing the disease occur throughout life, not just in old age.”

Approximately 45 million people worldwide were thought to be living with dementia in 2015, at an estimated cost of $818bn.

Numbers continue to rise here in England and Wales, as it is estimated that 1.2 million people will be living with dementia by 2040 – a 57% increase from 2016 figures, largely driven by people living longer.

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