Your Health: Increased dementia risks
Some surprising risk factors you need to know.
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - There are more than 55 million people around the world living with dementia. Every year, doctors diagnose 10 million more new cases.
Studies show regular exercise, and what you eat, can affect your dementia risk, but what about other lesser-known factors?
You fought through COVID-19, but especially if you are 65 years or older, the disease might have caused some lingering effects. A study from the University of Missouri found patients who developed COVID-19 pneumonia had a higher risk of developing dementia. Another study from Case Western Reserve University found people 65 and older who got COVID-19 were about 70%more likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s within a year of their infection. But covid is not the only surprising risk factor.
“Two-thirds of Alzheimer’s patients here in the United States are women,” said Sepi Shokouhi, a Ph.D. assistant professor formerly with Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Studies show the reason women are more likely to get dementia than men are not solely due to the fact that women live longer. Researchers found abnormal protein linked to dementia was more widespread in women’s brains.
“I can predict that sex will be more strongly integrated with future precision medicine in Alzheimer’s disease.”
And the medications you take can increase your risk. Taking an anticholinergic, such as Benadryl and clozapine, for three years or more was associated with a 54% higher dementia risk. Giving you insights into some surprising risk factors.
There is some good news: Just walking can lower your risk for dementia. Researchers found that walking four thousand steps a day lowers your dementia risk by 25% while reaching 10,000 steps a day lowers it by 5%.
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