Top Three Modifiable Factors That Raise Your Risk For Dementia

Certain lifestyle factors can sway the risk of dementia, and a new study points to the top threats to Americans these days: obesity, physical inactivity and lack of a high school diploma.

Researchers found that in just the past decade, there has been a shift in the most important modifiable risk factors for dementia in the United States

Today, lack of exercise is still among the top three, but the other spots have been replaced by obesity in middle-age and low education levels.

At the same time, the study found, that top three is not one-size-fits-all: The leading modifiable risk factors for dementia vary somewhat according to race and ethnicity.

Obesity was the No. 1 factor among white, Black and Native American adults, while lack of exercise was the top threat to Asian Americans.

Among Hispanic Americans, meanwhile, low educational attainment emerged as the top modifiable risk factor.

Our results suggest that people may be able to reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer's and [other types of] dementia by engaging in a healthy lifestyle.

The biggest risk factor for Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia is older age, which people obviously cannot change.

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