Health Headlines: Factors that can increase risk of dementia

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Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 7:44 AM CST
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ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - There are more than 55 million people around the world living with dementia, and ten million more new cases are diagnosed every year. Studies show regular exercise and what you eat can affect your dementia risk, but what about other lesser-known factors?

You fought through COVID, 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 were about 70 percent 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 US are women.” Explains Sepi Shokouhi, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, formerly with Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Studies show the reason women are more likely to get dementia than men is not solely due to the fact that women live longer. Researchers found abnormal protein linked to dementia was more widespread in women’s brains.

Shokouhi says, “I can predict that sex will be more strongly integrated in 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 percent higher dementia risk. Giving you insights into some surprising risk factors.

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 percent while reaching 10 thousand steps a day lowers it by 50 percent.

Contributors to this news report include Millvione Chery, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.