Posted on Aug 11, 2011, 6 a.m.
Lifestyle changes and treatment or prevention of chronic medical conditions have the potential to reduce the numbers of Alzheimer’s cases by 50% or more.
Over half of all Alzheimer's disease cases could potentially be prevented through lifestyle changes and treatment or prevention of chronic medical conditions, according to researchers from San Francisco VA Medical Center (California, USA). Deborah Barnes and colleagues analyzed data from studies around the world involving hundreds of thousands of participants, and concluded that worldwide, the biggest modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer's disease are, in descending order of magnitude, low education, smoking, physical inactivity, depression, mid-life hypertension, diabetes and mid-life obesity. In the United States, the team found that the biggest modifiable risk factors are physical inactivity, depression, smoking, mid-life hypertension, mid-life obesity, low education and diabetes. The researchers report that: “A 10 to 25% reduction in all seven risk factors could potentially prevent as many as 1.1 to 3.0 million Alzheimer’s Disease] cases worldwide and 184,000 to 492,000 cases in the [United States].”`
Deborah E Barnes, Kristine Yaffe. “The projected effect of risk factor reduction on Alzheimer's disease prevalence.” The Lancet Neurology, July 19, 2011.