Smoking, BP, diabetes can all lead to dementia
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – People who smoke or who have high blood pressure or diabetes in middle age are more likely to develop dementia, a new study has found.
The good news is that people who take steps to curb these risk factors in their 50s and 60s might have a better shot at avoiding Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia in their 70s and 80s.
“People need to know that quitting smoking or controlling high blood pressure or diabetes is going to be beneficial not only for reducing the risk of heart attack, cancer, or stroke now, but also for reducing the risk of dementia later,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Alvaro Alonso, assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis, told Reuters Health in a telephone interview.
The study, published in the latest issue of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, also showed that the link between the three risk factors and subsequent dementia holds true for African-Americans as well as for whites. Overall, African-Americans were 2.5 times more likely than whites to be hospitalized for dementia.
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