Nearly three-quarters of dementia cases could be halted if people made simple lifestyle changes, a research study in Nature Human Behaviour claims.

Out of 210 factors that can trigger dementia, 62 of these causes if changed could prevent the development of the memory loss condition, experts have said.

These contributing factors that are associated with an increased risk of dementia include sleeping less than seven hours or more than nine hours and spending too much time watching TV.

In the UK, more than 900,000 thousand people are living with dementia, official health data has revealed.

According to the research team, preventable causes of dementia are accountable for up to 73% of cases of the condition.

Results of the study show that people who are unable to confide in others are more at risk of developing dementia.

In addition, dementia is more common amongst frail people and those with medical problems such as diabetes, the study has reported.

During the experiment, roughly 344,000 adults in the UK were surveyed about their lifestyle behaviours for approximately 15 years.

The researchers detected the 62 likely preventable causes of dementia as they were common lifestyle factors of the 4,654 participants who were diagnosed with the condition.

First author Professor David Smith said: “There is still this view among many people that potentially getting dementia is an inevitable part of getting older. But these results show dementia is far more preventable than may previously have been thought.

“That is hugely important because, with no very effective treatments for dementia, preventing it from happening in the first place has to be our focus.”

More than 16% of dementia cases can be triggered by a low water intake, poor sleep and not being part of a sports club or gym, the research has found.

Disabilities, diabetes, depression and strokes could also lead to 14% of dementia cases, the study has reported.

Between 47% and 72% of dementia cases could be prevented if people improved their lifestyle, local environment, medical history, physical measures, socioeconomic status and social and psychological factors, according to the researchers.

Patrick Holford, Chief Executive of the charity Food for the Brain, said: “We already know having a healthy lifestyle can hugely reduce your risk of dementia, and since this condition is not reversible, people really do need to take the right steps in middle age to hold on to their cognitive function.”

“Dementia is an entirely preventable disease.”

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