Factors Associated with Alzheimer's Disease: An Overview of Reviews

J Prev Alzheimers Dis. 2019;6(2):121-134. doi: 10.14283/jpad.2019.7.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a frequent pathology, with a poor prognosis, for which no curative treatment is available in 2018. AD prevention is an important issue, and is an important research topic. In this manuscript, we have synthesized the literature reviews and meta-analyses relating to modifiable risk factors associated with AD. Smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, hypercholesterolemia, physical inactivity, depression, head trauma, heart failure, bleeding and ischemic strokes, sleep apnea syndrome appeared to be associated with an increased risk of AD. In addition to these well-known associations, we highlight here the existence of associated factors less described: hyperhomocysteinemia, hearing loss, essential tremor, occupational exposure to magnetic fields. On the contrary, some oral antidiabetic drugs, education and intellectual activity, a Mediterranean-type diet or using Healthy Diet Indicator, consumption of unsaturated fatty acids seemed to have a protective effect. Better knowledge of risk factors for AD allows for better identification of patients at risk. This may contribute to the emergence of prevention policies to delay or prevent the onset of AD.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; early intervention; prevention; risk factors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology*
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / epidemiology
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Diet, Mediterranean / statistics & numerical data
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated
  • Educational Status
  • Essential Tremor / epidemiology
  • Hearing Loss / epidemiology
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Hyperhomocysteinemia / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Magnetic Fields
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Occupational Exposure / statistics & numerical data
  • Protective Factors
  • Review Literature as Topic*
  • Risk Factors*
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / epidemiology
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Stroke / epidemiology


  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated
  • Hypoglycemic Agents