by EBSCO Medical Review Board

A risk factor raises your chances of getting a health problem. You can get Alzheimer disease (AD) with or without the ones listed here. But the more you have, the greater your chances are of getting it.

AD is more common in people over 65 years of age. It is also more common in people who have a family history of the disease.

People who have these health problems may be at greater risk:

People who have higher education levels are less likely to get AD. This may be because they are more likely to be active and involved in their social groups. It may also be that their brains can keep working as usual even with the damage caused by AD. This is called “cognitive reserve.”

People with active social lives may be less likely to get the disease than those who are not.

People who eat unhealthy diets high in salt and red meat may be at greater risk. It may reduce the risk of Alzheimer to eat a diet with lots of:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Olive oil
  • Seafood
  • References

    Alzheimer dementia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Accessed April 6, 2022.

    Alzheimer's disease medications fact sheet. National Institute on Aging website. Available at: Accessed April 6, 2022.

    Atri, A. The Alzheimer's Disease Clinical Spectrum: Diagnosis and Management. Med Clin North Am. 2019; 103(2): 263-293.

    10/17/2016 EBSCO DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance. Available at: Arvanitakis Z., Capuano A.W., et al. Relation of cerebral vessel disease to Alzheimer's disease dementia and cognitive function in elderly people: a cross-sectional study. Lancet Neurol. 2016; 15(9): 934-943.

    Garcia-Casares N., Fuentes P.G., et al. Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment, and Mediterranean diet: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis. J Clin Med. 2021; 10(20): 4642.

    Mendez MF. What is the relationship of traumatic brain injury to dementia? J Alzheimer’s Dis. 2017; 57(3): 667-81.

    Risk factors. Alzheimer’s Association website. Available at: Accessed April 7, 2022.

    van Loenhoud, A.C., van der Flier, W.M., et al. Cognitive reserve and clinical progression in Alzheimer disease: a paradoxical relationship. Neurology, 2019; 93(4): e334-e346.

    What is Alzheimer's? Alzheimer’s Association website. Available at: Accessed April 7, 2022.

    Revision Information

    • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD
    • Review Date: 03/2022
    • Update Date: 04/07/2022