Age, marital status, BMI and sleep associated with risk for dementia


Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have analysed a large data set to identify new risk factors which they believe are linked to increased risk of dementia in later life.

The risk factors they identify include:

  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Weight
  • Amount of sleep


Dr James Pickett, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Society, says: “With dementia ranked as the 21st century’s biggest killer, and no way to cure or even slow down the condition, prevention is key to tackling this devastating condition.

“From lack of sleep, to being underweight, this study throws up a number of risk factors that could increase your risk of developing the condition. But, the link with marital status is not well established and we need to see more research before we could confidently say that this contributes to our risk. One of the strengths of this research is the 30-year follow up of the participants which indicates these changes are most likely to be risk factors rather than the early stages of the condition.”


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