Dementia Care Site Map
Dementia Risk Factors

Age and dementia

The greatest known risk factor for dementia is increasing age. Most individuals with the condition are 65 years or older.


Family history and dementia

Another risk factor is family history. Research has shown that those who develop Alzheimer's disease, Frontotemporal Dementia or Dementia with Lew Bodies are more likely to have a family history of the condition.

When diseases tend to run in families, either heredity (genetics) or environmental factors or both may play a role.


Risk factors of dementia that you can influence

Age, family history and genetics are all risk factors we can't change. Now, research is beginning to reveal clues about other risk factors we may be able to influence.


Head injuries and dementia

There appears to be a strong link between serious head injury and future risk of Alzheimer's. Protect your head by buckling your seat belt, wearing your helmet when participating in sports, and fall-proofing your home. (See our tips on preparing your home for dementia).


Heart health and dementia

Some of the strongest evidence links brain health to heart health. The risk of developing Alzheimer's or vascular dementia appears to be increased by many conditions that damage the heart or blood vessels. These include high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and high cholesterol. Work with your Doctor to monitor your heart health and treat any problems that arise.


General healthy ageing

Other lines of evidence suggest that strategies for overall healthy ageing may help keep the brain healthy and may even offer some protection against developing Alzheimer's or related diseases. Try to keep your weight within recommended guidelines, avoid smoking and excess alcohol, stay socially connected, and exercise both your body and mind.