New research has found that the numbers of men diagnosed with dementia has fallen in relation to estimates that were taken in 1990. Conversely the numbers of women developing dementia have remained constant.
The drop in numbers for men is being attributed to a change in lifestyle towards more exercise and healthier eating in the time since the initial research was conducted. Whilst the numbers of women developing the condition has remained consistent. This is arguably because women were beginning from a healthier baseline in 1990.
The initial research conducted by Cambridge University suggested that there would be 250,000 cases per year but current figures stand at 210,000. This represents a 20% drop in new dementia cases but an increase in the proportion of dementia cases to 66% of all new cases now being women.
The authors of the research state that this shows a clear correlation between a healthy and active lifestyle and a reduced incidence of dementia.
This most recent research reflects previous research that had been conducted in Wales where in 1979 2,500 men were asked to live by five rules- eat well, work out, drink less, keep their weight down and never smoke. Nearly 40 years later only 25 of the original cohort managed to stick to the plan; all are healthier and fitter than those that didn’t follow the rules and none have contracted dementia or cancer. The findings of such research are potentially significant as they suggest that it may be possible to take preventative action to help avoid the condition.