A new study found that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the key to beating dementia.
A dementia epidemic was predicted in the nineties. Still, that didn’t happen and scientists decided to investigate the reason.
A team of researchers from the University of Cambridge made a study trying to understand how middle aged people manage to win the battle against this condition. The results show that the middle aged are actually living healthier lives than they used to and that helps them reduce the risk of dementia.
Middle aged people are having more nutritious meals each day, they give up smoking and they exercise on a regular basis. Given the fact that they are more conscious about their health, the risk of developing dementia is reduced.
Even though it has been previously estimated that approximately 884,000 people would develop this condition until the year 2001, records show that only around 670,000 people had dementia up until that year.
It was also estimated that 8.3% of people after the age of 65 would have dementia, but figures show that only 6.5% of people who are over 65 actually have it.
The professor of public health medicine from the Cambridge Institute of Public Health, Carol Brayne believes that even though past studies supported the idea that there will be a dementia epidemic, they seem to be wrong as they are out of date.
The professor also mentioned that current studies show more optimistic results, as they suggest that the improvements regarding life expectancy, health care and lifestyle changes, along with better living conditions result in a smaller risk of dementia in middle aged people.
The team of researchers from the University of Cambridge based their research on five massive epidemiological studies.
When they realised that those studies were out-dated and that they led to some results and predictions that were proven wrong, they pointed out that the National Health Service and the policy on dementia from the Department of Health are based on studies that do not apply to the society we live in today.
Doctor Tara Spires-Jones, from the University of Edinburgh, considers that people who are over 85 years old are the ones with an increased risk of dementia. She says that since the population over 85 is growing, that means the number of people who have dementia is increasing. She suggests that more studies are needed in order to find better ways to prevent and cure dementia.
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