One in three cases of dementia could be prevented if more people looked after their brain health throughout life, according to an international study in The Lancet.

The results were published at the recent AAIC 2017 Conference that took place in London this week.

The study found that there were nine key risk factors that could lead to dementia in later life – including lack of education, hearing loss, smoking and physical inactivity.

Among the findings, one of the key message from the report is that what is good for the heart is good for the brain. Not smoking, doing exercise, keeping a healthy weight, treating high blood pressure and diabetes can all reduce the risk of dementia – as well as cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

The researchers say they did not have enough data to include dietary factors or alcohol in their calculations but believe both could be important.

Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK both responded to the findings. Dr Doug Brown, director of research at Alzheimer’s Society, said:

“Though it’s not inevitable, dementia is currently set to be the 21st Century’s biggest killer. We all need to be aware of the risks and start making positive lifestyle changes.”

Dr David Reynolds, chief scientific officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“Alongside prevention research, we must continue to invest in research to find a life-changing treatment for people with this devastating condition.”

You can find out more about the results on the BBC and use Alzheimer’s Society’s handy tool to see how different risk factors affect our chances of developing dementia.