Stroke Doubles Dementia Risk, Large Study Finds

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Even after adjusting for other dementia risk factors like high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease, people who have had a stroke are about twice as likely to develop dementia, according to a review of studies involving 3.2 million people worldwide. The research was led by a team at the University of Exeter Medical School in England, and the results were published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association. They confirm earlier data establishing a stroke-dementia risk.

The researchers analyzed 36 previous studies involving 1.9 million people with a history of stroke and 12 previous studies involving 1.3 million people who had a stroke that occurred during the study period. According to the researchers, a history of stroke increases dementia risk by about 70 percent, and a recent stroke more than doubles the risk for dementia.

The challenge of caring for stroke survivors who have dementia is only expected to grow. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 15 million people have strokes each year and about 50 million people have dementia — a number that could reach 131 million by 2050. Researchers hope to determine whether differences in post-stroke care and lifestyle changes can lower dementia risk in people who’ve had a stroke.

Sourced from: Alzheimer’s & Dementia