Alzheimer's Disease and Heart Disease Share Risk Factors

September 17, 2014 2:24 PM

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The risk factors for the neurodegenerative disease affecting more than 5 million Americans aren’t all in the brain. And a new report from the Alzheimer’s Association highlights the connection between the disease of the brain and heart disease, says Heather Snyder, PhD, director of medical and scientific operations for the Alzheimer’s Association. In the report, blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking are highlighted as risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, which strike women far more than men. There’s other evidence that obesity and sedentary behavior might play a part.

Many people view Alzheimer’s as a disease over which they have no control. But while factors like age and genetics do contribute to its development, the latest data indicate that other factors, which can be modified, may also be important. For example, hypertension in middle age may increase dementi...

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