Half of UK adults cannot identify any key risk factors for dementia, according to a study by Alzheimer’s Research UK.
The report, based on a survey of 2,361 adults across the UK, has revealed that more than half of the UK population (52%) has been affected by dementia, with a family member or someone else close to them diagnosed with the condition.
It also found that only 1% were able to name the seven known risk or protective factors for dementia.
The six risk factors are heavy drinking, genetics, smoking, high blood pressure, depression and diabetes.
Physical exercise is a protective factor against the disease.
Although a third of cases of dementia are thought to be influenced by factors within our control, only 34% of people surveyed believe it is possible to reduce the risk of dementia, compared with 77% for heart disease and 81% for diabetes.
Hilary Evans, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said that despite growing dementia awareness, there was still a lot of misinformation.
“It is a sad truth that more people are affected by dementia than ever before and half of us now know someone with the condition,” she said.
“Yet despite growing dementia awareness, we must work harder to improve understanding of the diseases that cause it.”
The charity said reducing the number of people who believe that dementia is an inevitable part of ageing is “key”, as “this belief drives other negative attitudes towards dementia”.
Read more about the report here
The full report with some great stats can be found here
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