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As baby-boomers age their risks of developing dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or heart disease increases. Stroke and dementia are the most widely feared age-related neurological diseases, and are also the only neurological disorders listed in the 10 leading causes of disease burden.

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) followed 2,794 participants of the Framingham Heart Study for 29 years who were without dementia at the beginning of the study. During the study they found 400 cases of dementia of all types–292 cases were Alzheimer’s. They estimate more than one in five women, and one in seven men will develop some type of dementia.

Both sexes had a risk of developing either a stroke or dementia was one in three. For women that risk is greater than developing a coronary heart disease. In general, women have a higher risk of developing a disease because of their greater lifetime expectancy.

According to the researchers these statistics are essential for public health planners when estimating the projected disease burden in a population.

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