Call for proposals

HPIO invites submissions for breakout sessions for our inaugural Ohio Health Policy Summit on Oct. 3, 2024. Click here for more information and to apply.

Back to News

March 22, 2024

Living in lower-income neighborhood linked to higher dementia risk, study finds

An international team of researchers has linked accelerated brain aging and a higher risk of thinking declines to living in a poorer neighborhood (Source: “Living in Poor Neighborhoods Ups Risks for Dementia, Early Aging,” Health Day News, March 15). 

"If you want to prevent dementia, and you're not asking someone about their neighborhood, you're missing information that's important to know," said study leader Aaron Reuben, a clinical psychologist at Duke University, in Durham, N.C.

His team's findings suggest that the risk of dementia could be reduced if prevention programs were targeted to disadvantaged neighborhoods, and doctors routinely considered where a patient lives. 

Researchers said it's not clear how living in a disadvantaged neighborhood increases a person's dementia risk. Possibilities include poorer air quality, less walkability, fewer social interactions and more stress.

But low-cost interventions like targeted dementia prevention programs or turning vacant lots into parks might help, researchers said.