A new study from the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry found that almost half of women and a third of men aged 45 and older will develop Parkinson’s, dementia, or stroke during their lifetimes, CNN reports. The study observed more than 12,000 individuals from Rotterdam, Netherlands, over 26 years and found that 48.2 percent of women and 36.2 percent of men developed one of the three conditions—which are “among the leading causes of mortality and disability” in the elderly population, CNN reports. In total, “1,489 people were diagnosed with dementia, 1,285 with stroke and 263 with Parkinson’s.” Four hundred thirty-eight people were also diagnosed with multiple diseases. “These numbers are alarmingly high,” lead researcher and associate professor at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam Kamran Ikram said. “Usually we hear about heart disease and about cancer but for some reason there is less focus on these diseases.” Overall, women had a higher chance of developing dementia and stroke. Men and women had about equal chances of developing Parkinson’s. “From a societal point of view, it is important to have these numbers in terms of planning for health care providers,” Ikram said, adding the need for “more research efforts” to find treatments for these conditions.
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