Want To Avoid Dementia? Take Better Care Of Yourself

It turns out a healthy body may be the key to a healthy brain.

At least, that appears to be the conclusion of a study carried out on over 7,000 Canadians over the course of 10 years. The group of seniors was tracked over the decade for their overall health, as well as any specific health problems they may have encountered – issues as serious as heart problems, or as seemingly minor as ill-fitting dentures or sinus infections. After 10 years, the group was analyzed for presence of dementia symptoms and compared with their overall health records.

The results were surprising. With every issue the individual’s body had to work to repair, the odds of developing dementia went up – and the effect was cumulative. People who had more health issues had as much as a 40% increased risk of developing dementia after 10 years.

This information is staggering, both in terms of what it means for dementia patients, and to underscore the importance of ongoing health care for the elderly. If even minor issues such as having vision issues – which could be from something as simple as having an old prescription for your eyeglasses – could lead your body to work hard enough that it will increase your risk of dementia, the importance of ongoing, proactive and easily accessible health care for seniors gains even more importantce. This information means that the odds of dementia could potentially be reduced – thus averting long term health care costs on both the individual and the system.

Treating Alzheimer’s and dementia costs us over $600 billion worldwide. In light of looming health care cuts that could have huge impacts on health care for the elderly, are we going to be missing our chance to avert dementia – and huge impact on the health care system – by ignoring the minor issues that lead up to it?


Related Stories:

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Costs Top $604 Billion

Bilingualism Linked To Later Onset Of Alzheimer’s

Medicaid In Extremis


Photo credit: Ann Gordon on Flickr

Photo credit: Ann Gordon on Flickr

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Wisteria K.
Past Member 1 years ago

This is important info for all of us.

Duane B.
.2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran3 years ago


Lin Moy
Lin M4 years ago

My mom did take care of herself and exercised but now she's getting pretty bad with this desease. I don't think there are really answers to this as yet.

Dianne Robertson
Dianne Robertson4 years ago

I've been a caregiver all my life beginning when Mama----No No No I don't really need to go back THAT far.But almost. I'm turning 67 next week.I grew up in Memphis.Tenn. then went to high school in St. Petersburg,Fla.I knew many women of my mothers age who fully believed that their health care was their Doctor's problem.Scarlett O'hara stamped her tiny foot and said'Fiddle- dee-dee I'll worry about it tommorrow." Well,these ladies chose to Never EVER think about it. The famous "nervous break" down wasn't just for Faulkner novels. When I worked in a nursing in Minneapolis in the 1980's none of my ladies had any idea WHAT medications they were taking or for WHAT. Since then, at a hospital, I met many families who "'didn't want me to scare MOM" by explaining her test results. Often this concept is for the convenience of the family( It saves them from having to discuss anything realistically) that's sad ,but my point is that it didn't happen yesterday. Ladies have historically advocated their control of their medical situation. To Doctors, to sons, to nephews.To stay Healthy we Have to take FULL control of what we eat,what medications we take, and how we choose to spend our last days. We need to ask questions, get second opinions and READ THE FINE PRINT. I REALLY believe that strong women are informed women.NOW it's confirmed thet they are also WELL women.

Maarja L.
Maarja L.4 years ago

This is interesting. Thank you.

Grace B.
Grace B.4 years ago

Great info. And now I should go and make that dental appointment.

SLK S.4 years ago


Shar F.
Sharon F.4 years ago

Yes, indeed. We are all paddling our own canoe. Use your head (make wise choices) regarding food, sleep, exercise, etc.

Canned veggies are getting expensive. Instead, buy a whole turnip, rutabegga, sweet potato, etc. Eat the veggie raw or lightly cooked. Much better for the body and the environment: No BPA from the can, save the energy to make/transport/dispose of the can. Back to the 50s!!

KISS-Keep it simple, silly.

KARLOLINA G.4 years ago

Older women using estrogen-alone hormone therapy could be at a slightly greater risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimer's disease (AD), than women who do not use any menopausal hormone therapy, according to a new report by scientists with the Women's Health Initiative Memory Study (WHIMS). It is really hard therefore to avoid this when you think of all the drugs they are giving to animals. Evan with being a vegetarian we are at risk as it can be found in vegetation thanks to these additives entering our waters.