Risk factors are characteristics of your lifestyle, environment, and genetic background that increase the likelihood of getting a disease such as dementia. Risk factors, on their own, are not causes of a disease but may indicate an increased risk that dementia will develop.
Some risk factors are modifiable, meaning that they can be changed (e.g., smoking and high blood pressure). Other risk factors are non- modifiable, meaning they cannot be changed, such as age or genetic makeup.
It has been estimated that up to half the cases of dementia worldwide may be the result of nine key modifiable risk factors:
- Hearing loss
- Physical inactivity
- Social isolation
- Low education