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Chronic ill-health in middle age increases the risk of dementia or death by the age of 70

Unlike last week’s paper from Exeter which focussed on the care of people who have developed dementia, this study from researchers based in Paris and London, looks at factors identifiable in middle age which are associated with the incidence of dementia before the age of 70, or death in the same follow up period.

Subjects – 10,095 aged 35-55- were drawn from the Whitehall ii study of civil servants with a baseline 1985-1988. Follow up was to 2019.

The take-home story is that ‘multi-morbidity’ in middle age (55) is associated with increased likelihood of developing dementia or dying in the follow up period.

Multi-morbidity is defined as having two or more chronic condition, severe Multi-morbidity – having three of more chronic conditions. The chronic conditions identified were: coronary heart disease, stroke, heart failure, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, chronic kidney disease, chron