Risk Factors Determined in Early Onset Dementia

The Long Term Living newsletter reports 9 risk factors account for most cases of dementia that are diagnosed before the age of 65 years, and most of those risk factors can be traced to adolescence, according to results of a Swedish study published by JAMA Internal Medicine.

During a median follow-up of 37 years, early-onset dementia was diagnosed in 487 men at a median age of 54 years. Significant risk factors for the disease, according to results:

  • Alcohol intoxication
  • Stroke
  • Use of antipsychotics
  • Depression
  • Father’s dementia
  • Drug intoxication other than alcohol
  • Low cognitive function at conscription
  • Low height at conscription and
  • High systolic blood pressure at conscription

Men with at least two of the nine risk factors and in the lowest third of overall cognitive function had a 20-fold increased risk of early-onset dementia during follow-up, researchers found.

The nine independent risk factors “were multiplicative, most were potentially modifiable, and most could be traced to adolescence, suggesting excellent opportunities for early prevention,” the authors concluded.


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