Decline in cognitive skills and loss of intellectual functions and memory is known as dementia. Dementia is a debilitating condition that adversely affects the quality of life. Several factors can lead to dementia. People affected with dementia lose their brain cells at a fast speed. Forgetfulness or loss of short-term memory is the early symptom of dementia. With the progression of the illness, people become confused, listless and lose interest in regular activities. In worst cases, dementia leads to Alzheimer’s disease.
Dementia usually affects the elderly. Death of brain cells is considered a normal part of aging. The risk of dementia increases with age. Nearly 5 to 8 percent of people between 65 to 74 years of age suffer from some type of dementia. After 85, nearly 30 to 47 percent people suffer from this ailment. Although, some causes of dementia are beyond our control, studies have shown that with modification in lifestyle in the middle age the risk of dementia with aging could be reduced.
Obesity in middle age and dementia
People who are above 40 and obese, have 35 percent more risk of developing dementia than a person with normal body mass index. It has been observed that obese middle-aged women are most vulnerable to dementia. Compared to women with normal body weight, obese and overweight women have 200 percent more chance of developing dementia. The more fat you accumulate around your waist, the greater is the chance of developing dementia after 70. If you want to reduce the risk of dementia, it is never too late to pull up your socks and start exercising. Your body mass index should remain between 18.6 and 24.9.
Secondhand smoking and dementia
To reduce your chances of developing dementia, try to spend most of your time in a smoke free zone. Researchers have found that people exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke have nearly 30 percent more risk of developing dementia than people who have not been exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke throughout their life. The risk of developing dementia from secondhand smoking is greater among people with carotid arteries abnormalities.
Low blood sugar and dementia risk in diabetics
According to a study, if insulin injections or oral diabetes medications introduces excess insulin in the body of diabetics, the blood sugar will dip to abnormal level, increasing the risk of dementia. A diabetic person should always strive to maintain the blood sugar level within the normal range.