06.02.12. What risk factors have been associated with dementia? | Kenya

06.02.12. What risk factors have been associated with dementia? | Kenya

01 Apr 2022

Increasing age, illiteracy, vascular disease, low-fiber diet, depression, and genetic factors (presence of APOE-𝜀4 allele) have been identified as risk factors for dementia in two reviews on epidemiology of dementia in Sub-Saharan Africa and developing countries (three studies included findings from Kenya) (Kalaria et al., 2008; Olayinka & Mbuyi, 2014). A study conducted in Kenya revealed that there was no evidence between education or vascular factors and dementia status (Chen et al., 2010). According to a systematic analysis for the global burden of disease study involving 195 countries (including Kenya) in 2016, the four main risk identified to have a causal link to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are high Body Mass Index (BMI), high fasting plasma glucose, smoking, and high intake of sugar-sweetened beverages (Nichols et al., 2019). More studies are required to confirm inconsistencies in earlier findings.


Chen, C.-H., Mizuno, T., Elston, R., Kariuki, M. M., Hall, K., Unverzagt, F., … Patel, N. B. (2010). A comparative study to screen dementia and APOE genotypes in an ageing East African population. Neurobiology of Aging, 31(5), 732–740. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2008.06.014

Kalaria, R. N., Maestre, G. E., Arizaga, R., Friedland, R. P., Galasko, D., Hall, K., … Potocnik, F. (2008). Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia in developing countries: prevalence, management, and risk factors. The Lancet Neurology, 7(9), 812–826. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1474-4422(08)70169-8

Nichols, E., Szoeke, C. E. I., Vollset, S. E., Abbasi, N., Abd-Allah, F., Abdela, J., … Murray, C. J. L. (2019). Global, regional, and national burden of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. The Lancet Neurology, 18(1), 88–106. http://doi.org/10.1016/S1474-4422(18)30403-4

Olayinka, O. O., & Mbuyi, N. N. (2014). Epidemiology of dementia among the elderly in Sub-Saharan Africa. International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 2014. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/195750