Health: Half of adults cannot identify any key risk factors for dementia

Health / Wed 6th Feb 2019 at 10:46am

HALF of UK adults cannot identify any key risk factors for dementia, according to a study by Alzheimer’s Research UK reports the BBC.

The charity surveyed 2,361 people and found that only 1% were able to name the seven known risk or protective factors for dementia.

The six risk factors are heavy drinking, genetics, smoking, high blood pressure, depression and diabetes.

Physical exercise is a protective factor against the disease.

The study, entitled Dementia Attitudes Monitor, found that more than half of UK adults now know someone with dementia.

But only half recognised that dementia is a cause of death, and they found that a fifth incorrectly believe it is an inevitable part of getting older.

Although a third of cases of dementia are thought to be influenced by factors within our control, only 34% of people surveyed believe it is possible to reduce the risk of dementia, compared with 77% for heart disease and 81% for diabetes.

Hilary Evans, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said that despite growing dementia awareness, there was still a lot of misinformation.

“It is a sad truth that more people are affected by dementia than ever before and half of us now know someone with the condition,” she said.

“Yet despite growing dementia awareness, we must work harder to improve understanding of the diseases that cause it.”

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