Health

Published: Tuesday October 8, 2013 MYT 3:57:00 PM
Updated: Tuesday October 8, 2013 MYT 5:39:07 PM

Dementia affecting more young people in China

Both hypertension and hyperlipidemia are increasingly affecting younger people in China, raising the chances of developing dementia. – Reuters

Both hypertension and hyperlipidemia are increasingly affecting younger people in China, raising the chances of developing dementia. – Reuters

According to Chinese doctors, unhealthy lifestyles and pressure are leading to dementia in younger people.

DEMENTIA, a condition normally associated with old age, is increasingly affecting younger people in China, according to studies by Chinese doctors.

Dementia is a serious brain disorder that interferes with thinking, memory and the performance of daily activities.

According to the studies, the number of people suffering from dementia in China has more than doubled in the past two decades, but the average age of sufferers has dropped by 10 years. The studies show the average age of people with dementia dropping from 65 to 55 over the same period.

Figures for 1990 showed 3.68 million people suffering from the condition in China, while the figure for 2010 stood at more than nine million, more than any other country, according to a study published in the British medical journal The Lancet.

Experts behind the research said dementia in younger people has its roots in pressure and unhealthy lifestyles, including bad eating and drinking habits.

This year, a 39-year-old man from Hunan province was diagnosed with dementia, according to media reports.

The man has drunk a large amount of alcohol every day for more than 10 years, and found that his memory began to decline and his work was adversely affected. Doctors said the large amount of alcohol had damaged his brain and other parts of the nervous system, causing dementia.

Both hypertension and hyperlipidemia – high fat content in the blood – are increasingly affecting younger people in China, raising the chances of developing dementia.

There are several types of dementia, each with particular causes and symptoms. Young people are most likely to be affected by Alzheimer’s disease, and sufferers very often have a history of young-onset Alzheimer’s in the family.

However, many young people are affected by vascular dementia, which is the second most common form of dementia in younger people and is caused by problems with the supply of blood to the brain.

“In addition to an increase in the number of Alzheimer’s patients, the number of those suffering vascular dementia is also increasing,” said Dong Qiang, a doctor at the neurology department of Shanghai Huashan Hospital.

“Some vascular risk factors such as hypertension and diabetes have emerged among younger people in recent years. And this may be one of the major reasons leading to vascular dementia.”

Memory loss is one of the first symptoms of dementia. Other symptoms include forgetting things that have happened earlier in the day, getting confused about messages and people, and getting lost while out and about. – China Daily/Asia News Network

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle, Health, Lifestyle, health, dementia, China, younger people

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