Alzheimer’s risk is much higher than previously thought. It is now the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. In fact, one in every six women and one in every 11 men develop this crippling dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Association in their 2014 Facts and Figures report. More than five million Americans have Alzheimer’s and that number is expected to jump to 16 million by the year 2050. More than 60% of caregivers for Alzheimer’s patients are women. An accumulating body of research shows there may be much we can do to stem the tide. For example, a 2008 study found that being overweight in middle-age increased dementia risk three-fold. A study from the Mayo Clinic reports that people with type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure in middle-age are much more likely to develop dementia as they grow older.
Researchers at the University of Bristol report that the current food environment in the U.S. contributes to the development of cognitive impairment and dementia.
Alzheimer’s Association’s 2014 Facts & Figures. http://www.alz.org/
Roberts R: Neurology 2014;March 19th.
Martin A, Davidson T: Human cognitive function and the obesogenic environment. Physiology & Behavior 2014;March 11th.