National Poll on Healthy Aging: Almost Half of Older Adults Think They’ll Develop Dementia

Nearly half of adults ages 50-80 think they are likely to develop dementia sometime in their life, according to a new poll.

Nearly 75% of adults reported engaging in some kind of activity to help with dementia — including playing brain games or taking nutritional supplements — but only 5% report talking to their doctor about ways to prevent dementia. Some 60% said they were willing to provide a DNA sample to help study the disease, while 44% expressed interest in joining a clinical trial testing treatment and prevention strategies.

At the same time, the WHO released its first-ever list of guidelines for health care providers and policymakers to help patients reduce cognitive decline and the risk of developing dementia. Among the recommended interventions: maintaining ideal blood pressure and glucose levels, avoiding harmful alcohol intake, and getting regular exercise.

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