Two categories of Risk Factors associated with Alzheimer’s Disease

  1. Those you cannot change
  2. Those that you can change.

Be aware of current risk factors associated with Alzheimer’s Disease


AGE: is the most well established risk factor and cannot be avoided. It is considered one in 50 people between the ages of 65 and 70 have a form of dementia, compared to one in five people over the age of 80.

INHERITANCE: Genes are known to play a role in the development of Alzheimer disease but their effects are complicated and the pattern of inheritance can vary. Early onset Alzheimer disease mainly affects families clusters and therefore bears the name familial Alzheimer disease.

Persons affected usually develop Alzheimer disease in their 30s and 40s. The cause of this type of Alzheimer disease is related to the mutation in one of three genes and is extremely rare and account for fewer than one in 1,000 cases of Alzheimer’s disease.

Further Reading & Resources: More on this on Alzheimer’s UK website


Cardiovascular: Brain infarcts, heart disease, mid-life hypertension all have been shown to increase the risk of Alzheimer and vascular dementia.

Diabetes: can increase the risk of developing Alzheimer by 65%This risk factor can be reduced by management of diabetes.

High Cholesterol: Cholesterol is needed to maintain brain function. High levels of the low density lipoprotein cholesterol in mid- life and late –life is considered to be a risk for developing Alzheimer disease as well as vascular dementia. Studies are indicating that cholesterol lowering drugs may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer disease.

Obesity: Being overweight in mid-life has been suggested to increase in developing dementia later on in life.

Smoking: may increase the risk of developing dementia in particular vascular dementia.

Homocysteine: is the by product of metabolic reactions in the body. There are studies indicating that high levels of Homocysteine increase the risk of developing Alzheimer disease and other dementias. Intake of vitamin B and folate can reduce homocysteine levels. A doctor should be consulted before taking supplements.

Highly recommended further reading about Risk factors Weuve J, McQueen MB, Blacker D. The AlzRisk Database. Alzheimer Research Forum. Available at: