|Ageing may be inevitable, BUT Dementia isn’t|
Following the recent launch of Public Health England’s One You, a campaign to help adults across the country make simple changes to improve their health today and in the future, PHE has launched the 4th edition of Health matters: midlife approaches to reduce dementia risk. Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia affect some 850,000 Britons and cost the economy £26bn a year. If things continue as they are the number affected will rise to 1m by 2025 and 2m by 2050.
This latest edition of Health matters, a resource for health professionals & local government which aims to support commissioning and the delivery of local services, shows that dementia is not an inevitable part of ageing. What is good for the heart is also good for the brain. Modifying cardiovascular risk factors has contributed to a large decline in deaths from heart disease and stroke over the past 50 years. The same could be the case for dementia.
Using PHE’s Dementia Profile tool, for example, can help to identify local risk factors for dementia such as smoking prevalence or physical inactivity. This will help to prioritise efforts to reduce such risk factors. Research has shown that dementia is caused by a complex mix of genetic & lifestyle factors but, by maintaining a balanced diet, exercising regularly, not smoking or drinking to excess, keeping blood pressure and cholesterol in check, the risk of dementia can be lowered in some cases.