Dementia rates have dropped by more than 20 percent during the past two decades, according to a large study of people ages 65 and older in England and Wales, published in the Lancet in July.Even so, six percent of these people had dementia in 2011.
This improvement may be due to better control of blood pressure and cholesterol, which helps reduce the risk of vascular dementia (resulting from mini-strokes, for instance), the researchers said. Better education, also linked to lower risk, may be another factor.
This does not necessarily mean that other forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s, are declining. While the percentages may be somewhat different in the U.S., experts expect the same trend is occurring here.