Illness caused by popular foods can increase the risk of dementia

Woman with head in hands

High cholesterol could increase the risk of dementia

Sarra Gray

By Sarra Gray

Published: 24/08/2023

- 11:26

Dementia is not preventable but having another illness could increase the risk of developing it

Bad cholesterol could increase the chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease related dementias, according to a new study.

The study compared the risk of developing dementia with other illnesses.

The study, published in Neurology, used 11,571 participants with an average age of 71.

It found that those who had high levels of low-density lipoprotein (often referred to as bad cholesterol) were more at risk of developing vascular dementia.

Burger on table

Fatty foods can increase the risk of high cholesterol


It said: "Those in the highest quintile of variability for total cholesterol and triglyceride levels had an increased risk of incident Alzheimer’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease related dementias."

Those with the highest levels of total cholesterol variability had a 19 per cent increase in Alzheimer's Disease.

Those with the highest triglycerides variability were 23 per cent more likely to develop the illness.

Britons were encouraged to monitor and be mindful of their cholesterol levels.

Bad cholesterol can build up from a number of unhealthy lifestyle choices. It can also be genetic.

It is fairly common with around 40 per cent of men and 45 per cent of women having raised total cholesterol, according to the NHS.

Eating popular fatty foods such as takeaways and processed meals can increase the risk.

Britons can keep their cholesterol low by avoiding such foods, exercising regularly and cutting back on smoking and drinking.


Man doing push ups outside

An active, healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of many illnesses


Dementia is caused by genetics, age and factors such as air pollution, and there is little that can be done to prevent it.

However, some lifestyle choices could help reduce the risk.

The NHS stated: "There's good evidence that a healthy lifestyle can help reduce your risk of developing dementia when you're older.

"A healthy lifestyle can also help prevent cardiovascular diseases, such as stroke and heart attacks, which are themselves risk factors for Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia (the 2 most common types of dementia)."

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