A group of Dutch researchers has said nearly half of the female population and one in three men are at the risk of developing old-age diseases like stroke, degenerative neurological disease such as dementia and Parkinson’s disease.
“in order to grasp how big the problem of incurable brain diseases in late life really is,” said the study’s senior author Arfan Ikram.
Speaking to AFP, Ikram, of the Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam in the Netherlands said, “We grouped these diseases together not only because they are common but also because there are indications that these often co-occur and might share some overlapping causes.”
The researcher also discovered some precautions that could be taken to delay or prevent the disease, reducing the risk between 20 and 50 percent.
The study, which was published in the Journal of Neurology was able to tack more than 12,000 healthy people over the age of 45 between the year 1990 and 2016.
Within the 26 years of the study, 5,291 of the people understudied died with nearly 1,500 of them diagnosed with dementia, 80 percent with Alzheimer’s, 1,285 suffered stroke and 263 Parkinson’s disease.
Results of the study put the likelihood of women who are 45 years and above getting the disease at 48 percent and 36 percent for men.
According to the lead researcher, the difference in the genders is as a result of the fact that women live longer than men.
“Our study does not show some sort of protective effect for men, instead, it is merely due to fewer men surviving to old age.”
As there are no cures for these diseases, the study suggests a healthy lifestyle which consists of good diet or developing diabetes and not smoking as a good means of preventing dementia and stroke.
Speaking further, the statement revealed the dangers of dementia and Parkinson disease are not known, unlike breast cancer and heart disease.
The researcher also added the study included people of European origin with a relatively long life expectancy; hence, the result may not be applicable to people of another origin.
About seven percent of people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease worldwide.