Friday, 1 October 2010

Dementia risk reduction: What do Australians know?

Dementia has a significant impact on our health care system and this is set to increase. In Australia and worldwide, the prevalence of dementia is expected to rise rapidly as the population ages. By 2050, there is predicted to be well over 100 million people living with a diagnosis of dementia. However, a number of modifiable risk factors have consistently been shown to be associated with dementia. There is converging evidence that mental stimulation, social engagement, healthy eating, exercise and prevention or treatment of cardiovascular risk factors may reduce the risk of developing dementia.

This paper examines surveys of the general public that included questions related to dementia risk reduction. The findings suggest there is poor knowledge of the current evidence for dementia risk reduction. This paper not only highlights the need to raise awareness that it is possible to reduce the risk of dementia and also the need to educate Australians about the link between cardiovascular risk factors and an increased risk of dementia.

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