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Global Alzheimer's report released

Wednesday September 17th, 2014

More could be done to prevent Alzheimer's disease, according to a major global study published today.

Alzheimer's Disease International, the worldwide federation of Alzheimer associations, commissioned the 'World Alzheimer Report 2014 Dementia and Risk Reduction: An analysis of protective and modifiable factors'.

Published today (17 September), it reveals that controlling diabetes and high blood pressure can cut the risk of future dementia. Stopping smoking and reducing cardiovascular risk factors also helps cut the risk of Alzheimer's.

Diabetes alone increases the risk of dementia by 50%, say the authors, led by Professor Martin Prince from King's College London, UK.

He says: "There is already evidence from several studies that the incidence of dementia may be falling in high income countries, linked to improvements in education and cardiovascular health. We need to do all we can to accentuate these trends. With a global cost of over 600 billion US dollars, the stakes could hardly be higher."

The report states that tobacco control and better prevention, detection and control of hypertension and diabetes are vital for cutting dementia risk on a population level. So dementia must be "integrated into both global and national public health programmes alongside other major non-communicable diseases".

Marc Wortmann of Alzheimer's Disease International commented: "From a public health perspective, it is important to note that most of the risk factors for dementia overlap with those for the other major non communicable diseases. In high income countries, there is an increased focus on healthier lifestyles, but this is not always the case with lower and middle income countries.

"By 2050, we estimate that 71% of people living with dementia will live in these regions, so implementing effective public health campaigns may help to reduce the global risk."

www.alz.co.uk/worldreport2014

Tags: Brain & Neurology | Mental Health | UK News | World Health

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