Health Advice



Eliminating 12 risk factors for dementia -- You can do it!

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

What do having little or no education, high blood pressure, untreated hearing impairment, smoking, obesity, depression, physical inactivity, diabetes, low social contact, head injuries, excessive alcohol consumption in midlife and air pollution exposure in later life have in common?

They are risk factors for dementia and, according to The Lancet Commission on Dementia Prevention, Intervention and Care, if they're reduced or eliminated, that could prevent or delay 40% of dementia cases worldwide.

The commission upped their list of risk factors from nine to 12 recently, and they're sounding a wake-up call. So listen up. It can help you make sure you and your loved ones do not have to contend with cognitive impairment as you grow older.

They want to call your attention to lifestyle choices that damage cardio-cerebral health, increasing the risk of dementia: high blood pressure, inactivity, smoking, obesity, excess alcohol intake and air pollution exposure. Also risky are head injuries, hearing loss and psychological conditions such as depression. They can lead to poor lifestyle choices and/or neurological changes.

The good news is that you're never too young to protect yourself from dementia when you're old (don't smoke, protect your brain from sports-related injury, exercise regularly and eat healthy foods). And you're never too old either! Walk daily and do strength training, don't smoke, drink very little alcohol, eat a Pesco-Mediterranean diet, stay in contact with friends and family, volunteer, do/learn new things, meditate, sleep and laugh.

So, what are you going to do today to help protect your brain tomorrow?



Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c)2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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