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Top 10 Activities That Increase Your Risk of Dementia

Updated: Aug 25, 2023


A image of a brain missing a puzzle piece.
Explore the top 10 activities that increase your risk of dementia, supported by statistics from studies

Dementia is a debilitating condition that affects millions of people worldwide, and its prevalence is only expected to increase as our population ages. While there is no cure for dementia, research has identified several risk factors that can contribute to its development or acceleration. In this blog, we'll explore the top 10 activities that increase your risk of dementia, along with statistics from studies to support these findings.


1. Smoking


Smoking is a well-known risk factor for numerous health conditions, including dementia. A study published in the British Medical Journal found that smokers have a 45% higher risk of developing dementia than non-smokers.


2. High Blood Pressure


High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can damage blood vessels in the brain and contribute to the development of dementia. A study in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease found that individuals with high blood pressure had a 39% higher risk of developing dementia than those with normal blood pressure.


3. Physical Inactivity


Physical activity has been shown to have numerous health benefits, including reducing the risk of dementia. A study in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease found that individuals who engaged in regular physical activity had a 38% lower risk of developing dementia than those who were physically inactive.


4. Poor Diet


A diet high in saturated fat and processed foods can contribute to the development of dementia. A study in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease found that a diet high in saturated fat was associated with an increased risk of dementia.


5. Obesity


Obesity is a risk factor for numerous health conditions, including dementia. A study in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease found that individuals with obesity had a 29% higher risk of developing dementia than those with a healthy weight.


6. Chronic Stress


Chronic stress can have a detrimental impact on the brain and contribute to the development of dementia. A study in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease found that individuals who experienced chronic stress had a higher risk of developing dementia.


7. Sleep Disorders


Sleep disorders like sleep apnea and insomnia have been linked to an increased risk of dementia. A study in JAMA Neurology found that individuals with sleep apnea had a higher risk of developing dementia.


8. Alcohol Abuse


Excessive alcohol consumption can damage the brain and contribute to the development of dementia. A study in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease found that heavy drinking was associated with an increased risk of dementia.


9. Head Injuries


Traumatic brain injuries, such as concussions, can increase the risk of developing dementia. A study in the journal Brain found that individuals who had a head injury had a higher risk of developing dementia than those who had not.


10. Social Isolation


Social isolation can have a negative impact on brain health and contribute to the development of dementia. A study in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease found that individuals who were socially isolated had a higher risk of developing dementia.


While dementia is a complex condition with no cure, research has identified several modifiable risk factors that can help reduce the risk of its development or progression. By avoiding activities that increase your risk, such as smoking, chronic stress, poor diet, and alcohol abuse, and promoting healthy habits like physical activity and socialization, you can help protect your brain health and reduce your risk of dementia.


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