Half of women are likely to develop dementia, Parkinson’s disease or suffer a stroke during their lifetime, according to research.
Monitoring the health of more than 12,000 people, researchers from the Netherlands found that about a third of men and half of women at the age of 45 are likely to go on to be diagnosed with one of the conditions.
Those who went on to suffer from dementia, Parkinson’s or stroke were also more likely to have been suffering from health problems such as high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes earlier in life.
The researchers suggested that if the onset of dementia, Parkinson’s and stroke could be delayed by a few years, the risk of ever developing these conditions could be lowered by 20% among 45 year-olds and by 50% for those over the age of 85.
Emily McGrath, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said the study is another strong indicator that conditions like stroke and dementia aren’t old people’s diseases.
“They can devastate the lives of young men and women and need to be tackled at their root,” she warned.
The research was led by teams at the University Medical Center Rotterdam in the Netherlands and published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry.