Australia’s second biggest killer is an age related illness 59



View Profile

When we think of death we think of heart attacks, stroke and cancer. But we rarely think of this illness – dementia.

Statistics released from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has declared dementia Australia’s second largest killer and Alzheimer’s Australia believe that 342,000 Australians are living with the condition.

Alzheimer’s Australia CEO Carol Bennett said, “We’ve gone from the third leading cause of death, to the second leading cause of death in a year, that’s a massive increase.

“It is a very debilitating condition, and it’s certainly one that has an enormous cost and social impact on the community”.

The ABS believe that deaths from dementia have increased by 30 per cent in the last 50 years – making this a very, very serious condition.

We often pass dementia up as someone “losing their marbles” but really take moment to see the bigger implications of the disease.

Prevention is becoming more and more critical in the fight against dementia and keeping your brain healthy and active through reading, lateral thinking puzzles and social connection is only one of them.

Some of the other things scientifically proven to reduce your chance of dementia include the following:

1. Get regular exercise – gentle to moderate exercise daily is recommended, scientists claim up to 150 minutes per week is ideal.

2. Do not smoke. Smokers are healthiest if they quite at 40 – studies suggest this can maintain an additional 10 years of life.

3. Maintain a healthy bodyweight – don’t settle being “overweight”, we should be in our healthy range.

4. Eat a Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet is high in fish, nuts, whole grains and ‘healthy’ fats such as those in olive oil, while low in red meat and dairy products. Studies suggest three to five or more portions of fruit and vegetables with fat making up less than 30 per cent of calories.

5. A low or moderate alcohol consumption. This is classified as three or fewer units per day for men, two or fewer for women, with abstinence not treated as a healthy behaviour. A small 125ml glass of wine contains 1.3 units, while a pint of beer contains at least two units.


 So tell us, are you actively preventing this from happening? Are you thinking about prevention? Share your thoughts in the comments below… 

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. OMG I was worried about dying from heart attack, stroke and cancer, now have to start worrying about dementia. is there anything else I need worry about?

    2 REPLY
  2. These statistics are all pretty useless after all we are all going to die of something. The reasons to try to avoid dementia surely is more about quality of life rather than dying from it.

  3. Chimps in captivity get dementia too, they live longer in zoo’s because of the medical treatment they get, and I doubt they have been drinking alchohol or smoking..our bodies seem to outlive our brain

  4. Dementia is not only a disease of the elderly. It is an umbrella term for a set of symptoms associated with a number of neurological diseases. There are many “young” people out there with dementia. As diagnostic techniques improve more deaths will be accurately recorded. The reason we need to look at the statistics is to fund research providing earlier accurate diagnosis and better treatment options as well as looking for a preventative strategy Lewy Body Support Group SunshineCoast

    2 REPLY
    • Agree with you Linda! Lewy Body a particular nasty one for want of a better word
      I believe it can come on much quicker than other dementia, which are more gradual!?

  5. I know doing all those preventions are good. But my husband has dementia he was doing all those things & he still got this terrible, terrible illness,so I think there could be other underlying problems associated with this terrible illness

  6. What’s next just live our lives to the best we can excise regular and a glass of wine a few nights a week and laugh every day stop worrying about all they say on television

  7. We use the correct protein and I feel we have slowed the process down and increased our energy 10 fold. Love life more now than ever. 67 years young and 17 kilos lighter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *