Dementia is a group of symptoms such as struggling to remember things or finding it hard to work things out. It is most commonly caused by Alzheimer’s disease- 62% of of all those diagnosed. There are around 850,000 people with dementia in the UK and it is thought that, on average, one person will develop dementia every three minutes.
It was in the news this week that supposedly, living in close proximity to a busy road will increase the likelihood of an individual developing dementia. It is thought to be linked with the road pollution and the traffic noise. In a study conducted on 243,611 cases in Canada, compared to people that lived 300m away from a main road, people who lived within 50m were 7% more likely to develop dementia.
Clearly, it is clear that more research must be done in order to prove that there is a correlation; there could also be some unknown factors that the study didn’t take into consideration. It looked at where people lived; it cannot prove that the increase in dementia cases is purely down to the busy roads. There are many other factors that increase your risk of dementia by much more than 7%, such as smoking; it would be far more beneficial to quit smoking than moving into the countryside.
Having said that, however, we know already, living near busy roads has other health problems, such as increased risk of stroke, heart disease, lung cancer and respiratory diseases. So, deciding to move away from busy roads may have its benefits, even if one of them isn’t a decreased risk of dementia.