Having TWO of these common conditions ‘dramatically increase’ your risk of dementia

There are only two common health conditions that can increase the risk of dementia, a study has found.

The risk is higher if you develop the disease in your 50s, rather than later in life.

May be more susceptible to dementia if you have two of these chronic health conditions


May be more susceptible to dementia if you have two of these chronic health conditionsCredit: Alamy

Conditions that increase the risk include high blood pressure, Diabetescoronary heart disease, depression and chronic lung disease.

It’s known that having one or more of these conditions can be a factor in people developing dementia, but there hasn’t been much research into what it means if young people develop health problems. strong.

Experts decided to look at this, to find out what it meant for people over 50, who could then continue to grow dementia.

The health records of more than 10,000 British men and women participating in the Whitehall II Study were reviewed.

They participated in the years 1985-88, when they were 35 to 55 years old and did not have dementia.

When it started, 6.6% had multiple diseases by age 55 and 32% by age 70.

During 32 years of follow-up, 639 cases of dementia were found – as of the end of March 2019.

The study found: “After considering a range of factors including age, sex, ethnicity, education, diet and lifestyle behaviours, multi-morbidity at age 55 was associated with increased risk of morbidity and mortality. The chance of getting the disease is 2.4 times higher. dementia (1.56 per 1,000 person years) compared with those without any of the 13 chronic diseases. “

The link between multiple diseases (two or more chronic health conditions) and dementia weakens as people age.

For example – at age 65, multiple illnesses before age 55 were associated with a 2.5 times higher risk of dementia compared with a 1.5 times higher risk in people who developed the disease between the ages of 55 and older. 60 to 65.

In other words, for every 5-year-old whose chronic diseases developed by age 70, the risk of dementia was 18% higher.

This means that, while it’s important to stay healthy for as long as possible – it’s doubly important to prevent diseases like type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure at a young age.

Given the lack of effective treatments for dementia and its individual and social impacts, the search for targets to prevent dementia is challenging, the researchers said. necessary.


“Multiple diseases are increasingly common, starting in adulthood and middle age.

“Our results suggest that multimorbidity is associated with an increased risk of dementia at an older age, even more with the onset of multimorbidity in middle age, but not late in life.

“These findings highlight the role of prevention and management of chronic diseases during adulthood to minimize adverse outcomes in old age.”

“Multiple diseases are known to affect health care utilization, quality of life and risk of death; our study adds dementia to that list.”

Dementia is a general term used to describe a decline in a person’s mental abilities – it is an umbrella term, as there are different types.

Dementia is when the mental decline is so severe that it interferes with someone’s daily life.

It causes problems with thinking, reasoning and memory – as these are areas of the brain damaged by the disease.

There are now 944,000 people with dementia in the UK, more than ever before and the number is expected to grow, Alzheimer’s Research UK says.

Still others have not received a diagnosis and do not know they are living with the disease. Having TWO of these common conditions ‘dramatically increase’ your risk of dementia

Emma Bowman

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