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High cholesterol 'increases likelihood of dementia'

High cholesterol 'increases likelihood of dementia'
10th August 2009

People with elevated blood cholesterol levels when in their 40s have a much bigger risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer's disease, according to new research.

The study, which was carried out by the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in the US and the University of Kuopio in Finland, found that even a small amount of cholesterol - between 200 and 239mg/dL in mid-life - can increase the risk of dementia by 52 per cent.

Anything over that and patients have a 66 per cent risk of getting dementia in later years.

Commenting on the findings, Dr Rachel Whitmer, who co-wrote the report, said: "The good news here is that what is good for the heart is also good for the mind, and this is an early risk factor for dementia that can be modified and managed by lowering cholesterol through healthy lifestyle changes."

Earlier this month, it was revealed by scientists that middle-aged smokers are much more likely to develop dementia.

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