The rate of dementia has declined significantly in the US. This claim has been made by two recent studies that found that the number of people suffering from the disease has declined since 2000 due to healthy lifestyle changes by the individuals.
Previously, health experts had predicted that the number of people suffering from dementia and other similar diseases will increase at the rate of 40 percent in the next ten years.
However, a number of recent studies that have analyzed dementia cases found that the rate of the disease has not only fallen sharply in the past decade but will decrease even further in the coming years due to better healthcare choices by the individuals.
Declining Cases of Dementia
A study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal found that the number of people suffering from dementia has declined by 2.8 percent from 2000 to 2012.
According to John Haaga of the National Institute of Aging that had funded the study, the overall decrease in the incidence of the disease equates to about one million fewer people in 2012 that were suffering from dementia as compared to 2000.
The study also found that dementia is more common in senior adults. Around 30 percent of senior persons aged over 85 were reported to have dementia in 2012 as compared to just 3 percent of senior individuals aged between 65 and 74.
Another study that was published in the Alzheimer’s and Dementia journal also found a decreased rate of dementia. While the previous study concentrated on the white people in the US, this study had concluded its results after examining African-American individuals in the recent decades.
The researchers of the study stated that the decline in the cases of dementia could be due to lower risk factors that contributed to circulation related illnesses including high blood pressure and smoking. The study indeed found that the rate of stroke and heart failure had declined significantly among the participants.
Another contributing factor for the declined rate of dementia might be greater awareness and improved medical treatments. In the 1970s and 1980s, people that had a stroke were about nine times likely to develop dementia. In the 2000s the risk of developing the disease in case of a stroke had declined to two times.
Healthier lifestyle and improved medical treatments for dementia patients have led to a significant decline in the reported cases. Increased physical activity and healthy diet have greatly reduced the risk of cardiovascular diseases, dementia, and other similar health disorders. In addition, keeping the brain healthy by playing brain games such as chess, tetris, or strategy games can also prevent the onset of dementia in individuals. It depends on the individual to make sure they are following a healthy lifestyle to keep them safe from diseases like dementia. Also, with the advent of medical treatments and increase in their availability, the cases of dementia are further hoped to lessen in the future.