48% of Women And 36% Of Men To ‘Suffer Dementia, Stroke or Parkinson’s in Their Lifetime’

The odds are not in our favor, shows a study recently published in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry. It seems that half or women and a third of men could suffer from any of the three conditions in their lifetime. However, the risks can be lowered with a healthy lifestyle which includes a good diet and exercise.

Erasmus MC University (the Netherlands) researchers monitored the health of 12,000 people of ages 45 and higher. The 26 year-long study observed the individuals, coming up with the following results.

Over 26 years, there were 5291 deaths. From those numbers, 1,489 people had dementia, 1,285 a stroke, and 263 had Parkinson’s disease.

Results saw that the lifetime risk of an adult aged at 45 years of developing one of the three conditions was 48% for women and 36% for men. Women had an increased risk of developing dementia earlier in life than men.

However, the good news was that if the disease were to be delayed by one to three years, the lifetime risks would decrease by 20% in adults aged 45. Adults aged 85-plus had a 50% risk of having one of the three conditions.

The patients affected by one of the three conditions are more likely to also have other issues, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or irregular heartbeats, found the study.

These Illnesses Are “Not Set In Stone”

According to one of the researchers, Dr. Arfan Ikram, “these findings strengthen the call for prioritising the focus on preventive interventions at population level. This could substantially reduce the burden of common neurological diseases in the ageing population.”

An expert from Alzheimer’s Research UK, Dr. Carol Routledge concluded that the risk of such illnesses is not “set in stone” and that we can help our brain remain healthy:

“The best current evidence suggests that eating a balanced diet, controlling our weight, staying physically active, not smoking, only drinking within the recommended limits and keeping blood pressure and cholesterol in check are all associated with better brain health into old age.”

Rex Austin

Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere