Currently, it is estimated that about 47 million people in the world are living with Alzheimer’s or dementia. By 2050, that number is expected to rise to about 131 million people. While we cannot fight against genetics in our battle against Alzheimer’s and dementia, there are certain lifestyle factors that studies have found increase your risk for dementia.
While there are several different risk factors for Alzheimer’s and dementia, there are five that have a higher percentage of risk than others. These five and their percentage of risk are:
- Mid-Life Hearing Loss – Responsible for 9 percent of risk
- Not Completing Secondary Education – Responsible for 8 percent of risk
- Smoking – Responsible for 5 percent of risk
- Not Seeking Early Treatment for Depression – Responsible for 4 percent of risk
- Physical Inactivity – Responsible for 3 percent of risk
Researchers say that knowing how much these factors contribute to one’s risk for Alzheimer’s and dementia can help us to make lifestyle changes that can lower our risk. Simple changes can make a world of difference. Do not listen to music on a high volume and use earplugs if you are in a location where music is playing loudly. If you haven’t completed secondary education, read books and do puzzles. Keep your brain engaged. If you are a smoker, stop smoking. If you are experiencing any signs of depression, seek treatment. If you aren’t physically active, talk to your doctor about developing a daily fitness routine.