Why Does Dementia Kill You? Causes and Ways That Dementia Kills You

Dementia has become among the most common causes of death in developed nations. In 2017, dementia was the cause of death for about 66.7 people per 100,000 U.S. standard population. So, why does dementia kill you?

Dementia can kill you in several ways. The most common cause of death from dementia is pneumonia, which is a severe lung infection. It can kill you in several other ways, which we will explore later in this blog. Why do dementia patients die eventually? Let's explore some of the reasons first.

What is Dementia?

What is Dementia? in a post about Why Does Dementia Kill You?

Dementia encompasses a set of symptoms that affect cognitive functioning, including memory and reasoning. It can be caused by several conditions, including Alzheimer's disease, Lewy body dementia, vascular dementia, and frontotemporal dementia. Among these conditions, Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia are the most prevalent types, accounting for about 60-80% of cases.

The National Vital Statistics reports show that the age-adjusted death rate for dementia as a direct or underlying reason of death was 66.7 deaths per 100,000 standard population in the United States in 2017. The 2017 data reflects an increase of over 30% from the 52.4 rates in 2000.

Dementia has become one of the ten leading causes of death in the United States, according to WHO. In 2019, it was ranked as the world's seventh leading cause of death, up from 11th in 2000. Dementia significantly shortens life expectancy. The average life expectancy for someone with dementia is about 4-8 years after diagnosis. And if you know someone who has dementia, we suggest reading The Best Reviewed Books On Dementia so that you know how to better take care of them.

What Causes Dementia?

Dementia is caused by various conditions that damage or kill brain cells. This damage interferes with the cells' ability to communicate with each other, and the person experiences problems with thinking, memory, and behavior as a result.

The most common causes of dementia are Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia. Other causes include Lewy body dementia, frontotemporal dementia, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

  • Alzheimer's disease is the most common dementia type, accounting for 60-80% of cases. It is a degenerative disease that attacks the brain's nerve cells or neurons. This damage causes the neurons to die, which results in memory loss and other cognitive problems.
  • Vascular dementia is the second most common dementia type, accounting for 20-30% of cases. This is caused by an obtrusion in blood flow to the brain, which results in reduced blood supply. This decrease in blood flow can lead to problems with thinking, memory, and coordination.
  • Lewy body dementia is the third most prevalent dementia type, accounting for 10-15% of cases. It is caused by the buildup of Lewy bodies in the brain. Lewy bodies are clumps of protein that damage neurons. This damage leads to problems with thinking, memory, and behavior.
  • Frontotemporal dementia is the fourth most common type of dementia, accounting for 5-10% of cases. It's a result of brain damage to the frontal and temporal lobes. This damage leads to problems with thinking, behavior, and personality.
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is another fatal disease that can lead to dementia. It is a rare, degenerative brain disorder caused by the buildup of abnormal proteins in the brain. This buildup leads to problems with thinking, movement, and behavior.
  • In addition, certain medical conditions such as stress, anxiety, Depression, and delirium can cause dementia symptoms. The same article says rare conditions like Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Huntington's disease, Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and HIV can also lead to dementia.

Signs And Symptoms of Dementia

Signs and Symptoms of Dementia in a post about Why Does Dementia Kill You?

Dementia symptoms can vary depending on the type of dementia a person has. However, some common symptoms are associated with all kinds of dementia. Common symptoms of dementia include:

  • Memory loss
  • Problems with thinking and reasoning
  • Problems with communication and language
  • Difficulty with planning and organizing
  • Difficulty with coordination and motor skills
  • Acting impulsively
  • Mood swings and changes in behavior
  • Hallucinating or experiencing delusions or paranoia

Most of these symptoms appear in the early stages of dementia and become more severe in the final stages.

If you or someone you know experiences any of these signs, diagnosing dementia as soon as possible is critical. Early diagnosis can aid in slowing disease progression and boost the person's quality of life.

Does Dementia Kill You?

Dementia does not directly kill a person. However, as described in the study, the disease can shorten life expectancy by causing a decline in physical and cognitive abilities. This decline can increase the risk of falls, accidents, and infections. These risks can eventually lead to death.

How Does Dementia Kill You?

How Does Dementia Kill You? in a post about Why Does Dementia Kill You?

Accidents

Dementia can kill you through accidents and falls. People with dementia are almost twice as likely to fall and injure themselves as those without the condition. This implies that to reduce the incidence of falls among persons with dementia, we must first identify and address any potential risk factors.

Mild cognitive decline may cause the dementia patient to forget his inability to walk without assistance and try to walk on his own. This could lead to a fall.

Falls can cause serious injuries, such as broken bones and head injuries. It can even be fatal. Falls are a major cause of death and injury in older adults, so it is important to take steps to prevent them. Some interventions that may be effective for people with dementia include increasing environmental safety, providing support and assistance when walking, and promoting physical activity.

Dementia affects everyone differently, so it's vital to work with a healthcare expert to establish an individualized fall prevention strategy.

Infections

  • Pneumonia

Dementia can also kill you by infections. People with dementia are more susceptible to infections than those who do not have the condition. There was an association between pneumonia hospitalization and the diagnosis of dementia.

Pneumonia is a life-threatening lung infection that affects people of all ages. The chance of pneumonia increases with age, and the elderly are more prone to it. Therefore, it is important to prevent pneumonia in people with dementia.

Some interventions that may be effective for preventing pneumonia include vaccinations, pneumonia prevention programs, and infection control measures.

It's also worth noting that dementia has varied effects on individuals. As a result, it is critical to work with a medical specialist in developing an individualized strategy for preventing pneumonia.

  • Urinary Tract Infections

Dementia can also kill you through urinary tract infections. Urinary tract infections are frequent, and those with dementia are more likely to get them than those without them. Up to 50% of dementia patients end up in the emergency department for urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Urinary tract infections can cause various symptoms, including fever, urinary frequency, and urinary incontinence. If left untreated, a UTI can lead to life-threatening sepsis.

Some interventions that may be effective for preventing UTIs include proper hygiene, prompt treatment of symptoms, and prophylactic antibiotics.

  • Bed Sores

Dementia patients are also susceptible to bed sores, which can be fatal. Bed sores are a common complication in people with dementia. Advanced dementia patients with pressure ulcers have a significantly shorter median survival rate. Patients with pressure sores have significantly lower hemoglobin and serum albumin levels, which are indicators of poor nutrition.

Bed sores can be prevented with proper skin care, nutrition, and hydration. It is also essential to avoid constrictive clothing and to position patients frequently to prevent pressure ulcers.

Serious Illnesses

  • Heart Disease

Dementia can kill you with serious illnesses. Dementia patients are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than those who do not have dementia. Dementia patients have a two-fold increased risk of heart disease.

Cardiovascular disease is a leading human killer in the United States. People with cardiovascular disease are more likely to have a heart attack or stroke. Therefore, it is essential to prevent cardiovascular disease in people with dementia.

Some interventions that may be effective for preventing heart disease include lifestyle changes, such as eating healthy food and exercising regularly. Medications, such as statins, can also help to prevent heart disease.

  • Diabetes

Dementia can also kill you by diabetes. People with diabetes are more likely to develop dementia than those without the condition. Diabetes increases the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia.

Diabetes is a severe disease that can lead to complications, including heart illness, stroke, and kidney failure. Therefore, it is essential to prevent diabetes in people with dementia.

Lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly, may help to prevent diabetes. Medications, such as metformin, can also help to prevent diabetes.

Did You Know? Gut microbiota plays a significant role in developing diabetes, obesity, cancer, and cardiovascular disease, as stated in the article Does Alcohol Kill Gut Bacteria? So, keeping your gut health is essential for preventing these chronic diseases. Check out The Best Supplements For Gut Health.

  • Covid-19

Dementia can also kill you with Covid-19. People with dementia had a significantly greater risk of contracting Covid-19. A Wiley case-control analysis of over 61.9 million adult and senior patients found that those with the condition had a 20.99% mortality rate and 59.26% hospitalization rate, compared to those without dementia, with lower mortality and hospitalization rates.

Covid-19 is a severe respiratory illness that can lead to various complications, including pneumonia and respiratory failure. Therefore, it is essential to prevent Covid-19 in people with dementia.

Getting a flu shot, washing your hands frequently, and avoiding close contact with other people who are ill were all shown to be beneficial for preventing Covid-19. It is also critical to wear a mask and build social distance.

Dementia Itself

The disease might also kill you if left untreated. Dementia is a progressive neurological condition that can lead to a decline in cognitive function and physical abilities. As dementia progresses, dementia patients may completely lose their brain function and ability to care for themselves.

Dementia is an incurable condition, and there is no known way to prevent it. However, some interventions may help to slow the progression of dementia. These include lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly, and medications, such as cholinesterase inhibitors.

Other Causes

  • Dehydration

Dementia can also kill you by dehydration. Dehydration is a common problem in older adults and can be especially dangerous for people with dementia.

Dehydration can lead to a decline in cognitive function and physical abilities. It can also cause serious health problems like kidney failure and sepsis. Therefore, it is essential to prevent dehydration in people with dementia.

Some interventions that may be effective for preventing dehydration include drinking plenty of fluids, avoiding diuretics, and wearing loose-fitting clothing.

  • Malnutrition

Dementia can also kill you by malnutrition. Malnutrition is a common problem in older adults and can be especially dangerous for people with dementia.

Malnutrition can lead to a decline in cognitive function and physical abilities. It can also cause serious health problems, such as organ failure and sepsis, as stated in a BiomedCentral study. Further, the study states that malnutrition increased the risk of death by 16.8 percentage points. Therefore, it is essential to prevent malnutrition in people with dementia.

Some interventions that may be effective for preventing malnutrition include eating a healthy diet, taking supplements, and avoiding drugs that interfere with appetite.

How to Reduce The Risk Of Death of Dementia Patients

Caring for dementia patients can vary according to the stage of dementia. Patients who have mild dementia symptoms may still be able to live independently with some assistance. However, patients with advanced dementia will require 24-hour care as the risk of death increases in the late stages.

You can do several things to reduce the risk of death in dementia patients.

Provide Proper Medical Care

First, you should ensure they get the proper medical care. This includes taking their medications as prescribed and getting routine checkups.

You should also know the signs of dehydration, malnutrition, and sepsis, as these are common causes of death in dementia patients.

Make sure to take them to the doctor if they have any signs.

Provide a Safe Environment

Second, you should provide a safe environment for them. This includes removing potential hazards, such as loose rugs or electrical cords.

You should also ensure that they have a working smoke and carbon monoxide detector.

Lastly, you should create a fall prevention plan. This may include exercises to improve their balance and strength and the use a cane or walker.

Monitor Their Health

Lastly, you should monitor their health closely. This includes taking their temperature regularly and checking for changes in their appetite or weight.

Keep an eye out for any changes in their mood or conduct.

If you notice any of these changes, you should immediately take them to the doctor. You may also want to read What Does It Mean to Be Healthy? for more tips on living a healthy lifestyle.

Can You Prevent Dementia?

Although there is no known way to prevent dementia, you can reduce your risk by living a healthy lifestyle. Some things that may help include exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding smoking. You should also try to keep your mind active by doing crossword puzzles and reading. You should speak to your doctor if you have any concerns about your cognitive function.

You may also be interested in The Highest Rated Ayahuasca Pills, which can increase immunity, provide cognitive support, and act as an antioxidant.

Final Words

Dementia can cause death by several mechanisms. These include falls, malnutrition, and infections. Dementia deaths are preventable with proper care and intervention.

You can reduce the risk of death by providing proper medical care, creating a safe environment, and monitoring their health closely. However, living a healthy lifestyle is the best way to prevent dementia.

Risk factors for dementia include:

  • Age – The risk of dementia increases with age. The majority of individuals with dementia are more than 65 years old. However, younger people can also develop the condition.
  • Family history – Your risk of developing dementia is higher if you have family members with the condition.
  • Health conditions – Conditions that can increase your risk of dementia include diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart conditions.
  • Lifestyle choices – Your risk of dementia is increased by smoking, heavy drinking, and not exercising.

If you're concerned about your dementia risk, talk to your doctor. They may assist you in making healthy lifestyle modifications that can lower your danger of getting this disease.

FAQ

What are the last stages of dementia before death?

The final stages of dementia include weight loss, incontinence, and difficulty speaking. Patients may also become bedridden and require 24-hour care. The risk of death increases in the late stages of dementia.

How long is end-stage dementia?

The length of end-stage dementia varies from patient to patient. Some patients may only live for a few weeks, while others may live for several years.

What are signs that dementia is getting worse?

Signs that dementia is getting worse can include weight loss, changes in mood or behavior, and difficulty speaking. Patients may also become more withdrawn and require 24-hour care. You should speak to your doctor if you notice any of these changes.

What can trigger dementia?

There is no known trigger for dementia. However, risk factors for the condition include age, family history, and health conditions. Lifestyle choices such as smoking and heavy drinking can also increase your risk.

References

What is Dementia?

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26527156/

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr68/nvsr68_02-508.pdf

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/the-top-10-causes-of-death

https://www.cdc.gov/aging/pdf/A-Public-Health-Approach-to-Alzheimers-and-Other-Dementias_MASTER.pdf

What Causes Dementia?

https://alz-journals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1016/j.jalz.2017.02.001

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3181810/#:~:text=Dementia%20with%20Lewy%20bodies%20(DLB)%20is%20the%20second%20most%20common%20cause%20of%20neurodegenerative%20dementia%20in%20older%20people%2C%20accounting%20for%2010%25%20to%2015%25%20of%20all%20cases%2C%20it%20occupies%20part%20of%20a%20spectrum%20that%20includes%20Parkinson%27s%20disease%20and%20primary%20autonomic%20failure.

https://qims.amegroups.com/article/view/29449/26551#:~:text=Frontotemporal%20dementia%20(FTD)%20is%20a%20group%20of%20neurodegenerative%20conditions%20affecting%20the%20frontal%20and%20temporal%20lobes%20(1).%20FTD%20is%20the%20fourth%20overall%20most%20prevalent%20dementia%20subtype%20accounting%20for%20%3C5%25%20of%20cases%2C%20rising%20to%20approximately%2010%25%20in%20the%20%E2%80%98early%20onset%E2%80%99%20(under%2065)%20cohort%20(2).

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8343936/#:~:text=CJD%20is%20a%20progressive%20and%20fatal%20disease%2C%20which%20could%20lead%20to%20dementia.

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-is-dementia#:~:text=In%20addition%2C%20medical%20conditions%20such%20as%20stress%2C%20anxiety%2C%20depression%2C%20and%20delirium%20can%20cause%20serious%20memory%20problems%20that%20resemble%20dementia%2C%20as%20can%20alcohol%20use%20disorder%20and%20side%20effects%20of%20certain%20medicines.

Signs and Symptoms of Dementia

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-is-dementia#:~:text=on%20the%20type.-,What%20are%20the%20signs%20and%20symptoms%20of%20dementia%3F,Losing%20balance%20and%20problems%20with%20movement,-People%20with%20intellectual

Does Dementia Kill You?

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6345342/#:~:text=This%20study%20did,properly%20as%20before.

How Does Dementia Kill You?

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6107894/#:~:text=This%20study%20demonstrates,needed%20in%20parallel.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24368344/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7771809/#:~:text=Up%20to%2050%25%20of%20people%20living%20with%20dementia%20present%20to%20the%20emergency%20department%20in%20a%20given%20year%20(compared%20to%2030%25%20of%20people%20without%20dementia)%20and%20their%20most%20frequent%20diagnosis%20on%20discharge%20from%20the%20ED%20is%20urinary%20tract%20infection%20(UTI)%2C%20including%20both%20cystitis%20and%20pyelonephritis.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27410245/#:~:text=Results%3A%20The%20median%20survival%20of,863%20days).

Serious Illnesses

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2924456/#:~:text=CVD%20was%20also%20associated%20with%20an%20almost%20two%2Dfold%20increased%20risk%20of%20developing%20late%2Dlife%20dementia

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/whats-the-relationship-between-diabetes-and-dementia-202107122546

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1568163719300157?via%3Dihub

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/09/health/covid-dementia-risk.html#:~:text=People%20with%20dementia%20had%20significantly%20greater%20risk%20of%20contracting%20the%20coronavirus%2C%20and%20they%20were%20much%20more%20likely%20to%20be%20hospitalized%20and%20die%20from%20it%2C%20than%20people%20without%20dementia%2C%20a%20new%20study%20of%20millions%20of%20medical%20records%20in%20the%20United%20States%20has%20found.

https://alz-journals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/alz.12296.

Other Causes

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6603652/#:~:text=Dehydration%2C%20which%20refers,performance%20and%20mood.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8645828/

https://bmcnutr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40795-015-0023-9

Leave a Reply

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

Related Products

Ultiblog, your ultimate healthy lifestyle. We discuss topics on Emotional-, Mental-, spiritual-Health.
Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a substitute for medical advice.
By using any of the information provided by this website you agree that you made your own informed decision, and you consulted with a healthcare professional before taking any action or buying any products.
Address: 8 the green, suite 6111, dover, DE, 19901
Email: admin@ultiblog.com
Phone: +15612298610
© Copyright 2022 - Ultiblog - All Rights Reserved

Subscribe Our Newsletter