Dementia - What Increases Your Risk Aging is the main risk factor for all types of dementia. Some diseases that cause dementia (such as early-onset Alzheimer's disease and some frontotemporal dementias) may run in families. You have a greater chance of developing vascular dementia if you: Are male. Have high blood pressure. Have had a heart attack. Have atherosclerosis, a buildup of fat and calcium in the arteries, which can lead to coronary artery disease. Have diabetes. Have high cholesterol. Have had a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA).