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Risk factors for early dementia

  1. Alcoholic poisoning
  2. Stroke
  3. Antipsychotics
  4. Depression
  5. Parents with early dementia

Early dementia linked to youth alcohol consumption  — Swedish study

Tuesday, 13 August 2013
A new Swedish study suggests that young people who consumed alcohol at adolescence will likely end up with early dementia, contrary to what was previously thought. Therefore, alcohol is a far greater risk factor in the illness than hereditary forces.

In a study that has been published in the latest issue of the scientific journal JAMA Internal Medicine, it argues that the study of Swedish men suggests nine risk factors, most of which can be traced to adolescence, account for most cases of young-onset dementia (YOD) diagnosed before the age of 65 years.
 swedish youth alcoholm consumers
Dementia is a major public health concern that affects an estimated 35.6 million people worldwide. The cost and disability associated with dementia are expected to increase in the next 40 years, affecting more than 115 million people by 2050, Peter Nordstrӧm, Ph.D, of UmeŚ University, Sweden, and colleagues write in the study background.

The study included 488,484 Swedish men conscripted for mandatory military service from September 1969 through December 1979 with an average age of 18 years.
“Young-onset dementia (YOD), that is, dementia diagnosed before 65 years of age, has been related to genetic mutations in affected families. The identification of other risk factors could improve the understanding of this heterogeneous group of syndromes,” the study notes.

During a median follow-up of 37 years, 487 men were diagnosed as having YOD at a median age of 54 years. Significant risk factors for YOD included alcohol intoxication, stroke, use of antipsychotics, depression, father’s dementia, drug intoxication other than alcohol, low cognitive function at conscription, low height at conscription, and high systolic blood pressure at conscription, according to the results.

The idea that alcohol is a big risk factor for early dementia is completely new. Previously, it was thought that the cause was linked to genetic mutations but this study shows that heredity comes first among the top five risk factors.

In other words, there are obvious opportunities to prevent early dementia, a disease with devastating consequences.
By Team

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