9 Factors that Increase Your Risk of Developing Lewy Body Dementia

Higher Education Levels Are Correlated with a Reduced Risk of Lewy Body Dementia
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Until recently, the only known risk factor for developing Lewy body dementia was considered to be older age. Research has made some gains lately in sifting out what might increase the risk for developing Lewy body dementia. They include the following:

1) Age

As people age, they generally have a greater risk of developing Lewy body dementia. The typical age range for the development of Lewy body dementia is between 50 and 85, although it can occur outside those ages.

In one recent study, researchers found that the peak age range for Lewy body dementia to develop is between 70-79.

2) Not Smoking

Interestingly, people with a history of smoking cigarettes have a lower risk of developing Lewy body dementia. However, the negative health effects of smoking are such that this is never recommended as a way to prevent Lewy body dementia.

3) Low Education Levels

More years of education are correlated with a reduced risk of Lewy body dementia.

4) Depression and Anxiety:

A history of depression and anxiety increase the risk of developing Lewy body dementia.

5) Less Caffeine Intake

A history of higher caffeine consumption is associated with a lower risk of Lewy body dementia.

6) Heredity

About 10% of Lewy body dementia cases appear to be tied to heredity where the person inherits the disease from a parent. These familial cases of Lewy body dementia appear to occur often in younger people.

7) Family History

When someone has had Lewy body dementia or Parkinson's disease, his family members have a higher risk of developing Lewy body dementia.


According to one study published in the European Journal of Neurology, almost half of the participants in the study had adult Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), compared to only 15% of those with Alzheimer's disease.

9) Gender

Men have a higher chance of developing Lewy body dementia than women do. Approximately twice as many males as females develop Lewy body dementia.

Related Resources


Dementia Services Information and Development Centre. Dementia with Lewy Bodies. http://dementia.ie/information/dementia-with-lewy-bodies

European Journal of Neurology. 2011 Jan;18(1):78-84. Previous adult attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder symptoms and risk of dementia with Lewy bodies: a case-control study. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20491888?dopt=Abstract

Lewy Body Dementia Association. Incidence of Lewy Body Dementias in a General Population. September 16, 2013. http://www.lbda.org/content/incidence-lewy-body-dementias-general-population

Neurology. 2013 Aug 27;81(9):833-40. Risk factors for dementia with Lewy bodies: a case-control study. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23892702

University of California, San Fransisco. UCSF Memory and Aging Center. Lewy Body Dementia. http://memory.ucsf.edu/education/diseases/dlb

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