LONDON, Aug. 7 (UPI) — The known genetic link for dementia accounts for only 7 percent of cases and British and French researchers suggest people could do more to prevent dementia.
Researchers at Imperial College, St. Mary’s Hospital, London, and the Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale in France say people can reduce their risk of developing dementia immediately by eating more fruit and vegetables.
The study, published in the British Medical Journal, predicted increasing intake of fruits and vegetables and eliminating diabetes and depression could reduce dementia by 21 percent, while increasing education could reduce new cases of dementia by 18 percent over the next seven years.
“Public health initiatives should focus on encouraging literacy at all ages irrespective of ability, prompt treatment of depressive symptoms and screening for glucose intolerance and insulin resistance — early stages in the development of diabetes,” the study authors say in a statement.
The study was based on data from 1,433 healthy people age 65 and older living in the south of France and recruited from 1999 to 2001. Participants underwent cognitive testing at the start of the study and again at two, four and seven years and gave information on medical history, height, weight, education level, monthly income, mobility, diet and use of alcohol or tobacco.
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