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Forgetfulness and fatigue are natural signs of aging. But when these are combined with additional risk factors, they can be a sign of Alzheimer’s – a disease that we can actively take steps to avoid. Awareness of these eight risk factors that can possibly bring about Alzheimer’s is important to know as you age.

According to a study from the Centers for Disease Control,  there are eight risk factors (high blood pressure, low physical activity, depression, diabetes, obesity, binge drinking, hearing loss, and smoking) that are commonly found in adults aged 45 and older. Simply put, leading a healthier, more well-rounded lifestyle may protect you against Alzheimer’s and dementia in the future.

Provided by the CDC, here are the top risk factors that can contribute to Alzheimer’s: 

  • High blood pressure. Tens of millions of American adults have high blood pressure. Try to keep it within the healthy range of 120/80.
  • Diabetes. Learn how to manage your blood sugar to prevent diabetes if possible.
  • Not getting enough aerobic activity. Physical activity can improve thinking, reduce risk of depression and anxiety, and help you sleep better. Aim for 150 minutes of activity per week.
  • Cigarette smoking. Quitting smoking now may help maintain brain health and can reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, lung disease, and other smoking-related illnesses. Free Quitline: 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).
  • Excessive alcohol use. If you drink, do so in moderation. Limit intake to two drinks or less in a day for men or one drink of less in a day for women.
  • Hearing loss. Make sure to talk to a hearing care professional to treat and manage hearing loss. Scheduling yearly physicals can help bring awareness to future hearing issues.
  • Depression.  If you’re feeling at risk for depression, contact a professional that can help you with long-term treatment with medication and/or therapy.
  • Obesity. Maintaining a healthy weight and BMI is crucial to overall health. Click here to explore what a healthy BMI is for your body type.

To learn more about the steps you can take to prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia, visit the CDC’s website located here – then stop by our Memory Care page to see how we can further assist!