Surprising Guesswork

Last week I met up with two longstanding friends. Both well educated and in high profile jobs.

When the conversation turned to my interest in cognitive health, I asked them this question.

‘What do you think your risk of getting dementia is between the ages of 65 and 69?’ 

First friend said 20%.

Second friend said 50%.

They were both quite shocked when I told them it was just 2%.

Not only that, but it takes another 5 years for the risk to double to 4%. And then a further 5 years to double again.

 So when you hit 80, the risk is 8% and at 85 the risk is 16%. 

Whilst dementia is a truly horrible disease, the risk of getting it is considerably less than many people think. We are also beginning to understand how that risk can be reduced throughout life.