A survey by ARUK has found only 25% of people realise making lifestyle changes can reduce dementia risk.

With 850,000 people diagnosed with dementia in the UK (and the number set to rise to one million by 2025), the hunt for a cure is not surprisingly a priority. But until that’s found, many people feel powerless as to what they can do to reduce their risk of developing dementia.

And this has become particularly clear after a survey by Alzheimer’s Research UK discovered that three out of four people don’t know you can reduce your risk of developing dementia by adopting healthy lifestyle habits, such as eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, not drinking to excess, not smoking and keeping blood pressure, weight and cholesterol under control.

In fact, 50 per cent of people polled said they would be more likely to adopt a healthy lifestyle if they knew it could reduce their risk.

Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

‘Although we don’t yet have sure-fire preventions for dementia, there are measures people can take now that could lower their risk of the condition. Increasingly, research is showing that what’s good for your heart is also good for your head, and with the number of people with dementia on the increase it’s vital that this message reaches the public. In the meantime, research into better prevention strategies will be crucial for scaling up the fight against dementia, along with a focus on new treatments for those cases where dementia cannot be prevented.’

"Increasingly, research is showing that what’s good for your heart is also good for your head."
Hilary Evans, ARUK

Prof Kevin Fenton, Director of Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England, added:

‘Developing dementia is not an inevitable part of aging. Making better choices today can have a huge influence on our health and can reduce our risk of living with dementia later down the line.’

For more information on the risk factors for dementia, click here. For tips on the steps you can take to reduce your risk at different ages, click the links below.

Reduce your dementia risk in your 30s
Reduce your dementia risk in your 40s
Reduce your dementia risk in your 50s