Early dementia set to rise sharply in the Netherlands

The Netherlands will be hit by ‘explosive growth’ in people with early dementia caused by their unhealthy lifestyles, according to Dutch university professors in Tuesday’s Volkskrant.

Four VU university professors say there is a link between an unhealthy lifestyle in youth and dementia in people in their 50s and 60s. ‘This illness is not being taken seriously enough,’ says professor Erik Scherder. ‘You can wreck the rest of your life in the first 25 years.’
Some 75,000 Dutch children are currently considered obese and 500,000 are overweight, the paper says. ‘By 2025, there will be 1.4 million people in the Netherlands with diabetes, of whom 85% will be either overweight or obese,’ professor Jaap Seidell told the paper. ‘The chance that they develop dementia is relatively high.’
The paper says just 1% of the expected increase in dementia patients is due to genetic factors. Most people who develop dementia are dead within six to 12 years.
The professors say more attention needs to be paid to prevention.

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