As the average lifespan of people in most industrialized countries slowly increases, we are seeing a sharp rise in new cases of dementia. According to World Health Organization forecasts, there are already the equivalent of 7.7 million new dementia patientss diagnosed every year and the number of new cases will likely skyrocket in coming decades. Given the critical shortages that are already being seen in trained support staff to care for dementia patients, it is hardly surprising that global health experts consider dementia to be a "ticking time bomb" that could overwhelm the health care systems in most countries over the next thirty years.
Along with the most common form of dementia, Alzheimer's disease, we are also seeing more older adults being diagnosed with dementias linked to stroke and cardiovascular disease (also called multi-infarct dementia). Although the risk of dementia rises with age and as new medical problems emerge, it is still unclear why some people develop dementia while many others do not. Are there specific risk factors that can increase the chances of developing dementia? Since cardiovascular disease can increase the risk of stroke-related dementia, researchers have been taking a closer look at lifestyle factors that can reduce the body's ability to cope with stress. One factor in particular that has been attracting more attention deals with what is known as the Type A behaviour pattern (TABP).
To read more, check out out my latest contribution to the Huffington Post.