Risk factors for dementia do include a family history. However, even with a family history, your likelihood of having dementia is only slightly elevated. There are several lifestyle factors that are implicated and those include physical activity. So a risk factor for dementia is sedentary lifestyle. Other risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity. Lower education level is a risk factor for developing dementia. We think that overall, it's not the education so much as if you are at a higher level of education, you have more cognitive reserve than those who have a lower education level. However you can modify several of these factors. One is to exercise at least three to five days a week, 30 minutes at a time. So increased physical activity is associated with a lower risk of dementia and may also help delay the onset of dementia. Weight loss is also associated with lower risks of dementia. Stopping smoking will significantly reduce the risk of dementia as well. Controlling blood pressure with medications, diet, avoiding high sodium diet, exercise will lower the risk as well.
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