The late talented and legendary Tina Turner who used her life experiences to inspire so many shared the story of her battle with kidney disease with the hope that others will not make the same mistake with their health as she did.
“My kidneys are victims of me denying the fact that my hypertension needed therapy with conventional medicine. I put myself at great danger by refusing to accept the reality that I required daily medication for the rest of my life. I considered my body an invulnerable and indestructible bastion for way too long.”

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With Tina in mind, this month’s blog lists dementia’s 12 modifiable risks as presented in the Lancet Commission on Dementia report. The many studies discussed by the authors of the report say that modifying these risks might prevent or delay up to 40% of dementia’s. It only takes lifestyle adjustments to allay these risks.

The following advice relating to modifiable risks are in large part just copied/pasted from the Lancet report:

  • Aim to maintain systolic BP of 130 mm Hg or less in midlife from around age 40 years (anti hypertensive treatment for hypertension is the only known effective preventive medication for dementia).
  • Encourage use of hearing aids for hearing loss and reduce hearing loss by protection of ears from excessive noise exposure.
  • Reduce exposure to air pollution and second-hand tobacco smoke.
  • Prevent traumatic brain injury.
  • Increase social contact.
  • Control diabetes.
  • Limit alcohol use, as alcohol misuse and drinking more than 21 units weekly increase the risk of dementia.
  • Avoid smoking uptake and support smoking cessation to stop smoking, as this reduces the risk of dementia even in later life.
  • Reduce obesity.
  • Sustain physical activity.
  • Relieve depression.
  • Prioritize education from an early age.

The Lancet report reminds us that we need to “be aggressive about prevention” – and there’s no time better than the present to start. Adjusting our lifestyle is something that is, more often than not, something we can control.
To read the entire Lancet Commission report, CLICK HERE

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Kathy Faenzi PhotoKathy C. Faenzi MA is a Clinical Gerontologist and Senior Care Consultant based in San Mateo, CA.

JC Spicer, M.Ed. is a Freelance Social Science Writer and Developmental Editor based in the U.K.