What to know about risk factors during Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

“Alzheimer’s And Brain Awareness Month” is declared each June by the Alzheimer’s Association to help raise awareness about the disease, as well as show support for the millions of people worldwide living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.

This provides an opportunity to hold a conversation about the brain, and share the fact that Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are a major public health issue.

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Recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A new CDC study examined the status of eight potential modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (high blood pressure, not meeting the aerobic physical activity guideline, obesity, diabetes, depression, current cigarette smoking, hearing loss, and binge drinking) among adults 45 years and older.

Some highlights of the study follow:

  • Nearly 50% had high blood pressure or did not meet the aerobic physical activity guideline.
  • Adults who reported cognitive decline were more likely to have at least 4 risk factors (34.3%) than those without cognitive decline (13.1%).
  • 3.9% of adults with no risk factors reported cognitive decline while 25% with at least 4 risk factors reported cognitive decline.
  • Several modifiable risk factors were higher among African American, Hispanic, and American Indian or Alaska Native populations than other races and ethnicities.

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