Dementia 'can be fought by healthy living in middle age'

Medical Government/ NHS related news

Healthy living in middle age can help to prevent the onset of dementia in later life, researchers have said.

The report, from two senior doctors writing in the British Medical Journal Clinical Evidence, found dementia - which currently costs the UK economy £23 billion per year - could be tackled by staving off risk factors such as obesity and high cholesterol in middle age.

It was claimed these preventative measures could cut an individual's risk of developing dementia by around 20 per cent.

Dr Tom Russ and Professor John Starr, experts in health and ageing at the University of Edinburgh, found that increasing levels of exercise across all age groups is key, as well as keeping blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control.

They suggested that healthcare professionals should play a key role in promoting these issues, as should voluntary organisations and employers, in order to reduce the burden on caregivers in future.

The report concluded: "Modifying these risk factors early enough in life to have an effect is everybody's business."

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