It’s rare to hear good news about dementia. But that’s what a New England Journal of Medicine Perspective article reports. The article discusses several recent studies that show how age-adjusted rates in aging populations have declined for people born later in the last century, particularly in those older people most likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s are dependent on life style the recent study suggests.
In 2008, Drs. Langa and Larson reported one of the first studies suggesting a decline in U.S. dementia rates, using information from the U.S. Health and Retirement Study. They found that the decline tracked with education, income, and improvements in health care and lifestyle. Since then, several studies in Europe have confirmed this trend – and the reasons behind it.
"We’re very encouraged to see a growing number of studies from around the world that suggest that the risk of dementia may be falling due to rising levels of education and better prevention and treatment of key cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol," Dr. Langa said. He added that it will be very important to continue to follow these trends in the population given the wide-ranging impact of dementia on patients, families, and the health care system.