Individuals who suffer from a stroke are about twice as likely to develop dementia, according to a new large-scale study.

Researchers with the University of Exeter Medical School, in the United Kingdom, came to that conclusion after analyzing data from 3.2 million individuals across the globe, gathered from nearly 50 studies. Investigators found that a history of stroke increases someone’s risk of developing dementia by 70%, with recent strokes more than doubling the risk, according to the study, published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.

“Given how common both stroke and dementia are, this strong link is an important finding. Improvements in stroke prevention and post-stroke care may therefore play a key role in dementia prevention,” Ilianna Lourida, Ph.D., a postdoctoral research associate with the University of Exeter Medical School, said in a press release.

Investigators noted that the link between dementia and stroke persisted, even when taking account for other risk factors, such as blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. About 15 million people suffer a stroke each year, according to the World Health Organization. And 50 million individuals have dementia, which is expected to more than double by 2050, the study notes.