Dementia rate falls in Denmark, England and Wales

17 Jul

Good news. Gina Kolata reports in the New York Times that two studies, one conducted in England and Wales, the other in Denmark have found falling rates of Dementia.

Why has the rate of dementia declined? One interesting possibility is the Flynn Effect, the observation that average IQ scores have risen substantially over time. IQ and dementia are inversely correlated, in other words the higher your IQ the lower your risk of dementia. Other explanations might be better health and better education, which also are correlated with lower dementia risk.

However, some caution is in order, the increase in obesity and type II diabetes we have observed in recent decades may counteract this positive trend as the population ages.

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