Using the NHS Health Checks as a way of motivating people in midlife to make positive lifestyle changes to reduce their risk of dementia has been a success, as revealed in this report.
Alzheimer's Research UK, along with Public Health England and Alzheimer’s Society, worked together on a pilot project which saw, for the first time, 40-64-year-olds in England given information about dementia risk reduction in the NHS Health Check.
NHS Health Check 40-64 Dementia Pilot
Focusing on the message ‘what’s good for your heart is good for your brain’, the advice included stopping smoking, being physically active, eating healthily, maintaining a healthy weight, drinking less alcohol, connecting with people and keeping mentally active.
Of the 164 people who recalled the dementia messaging in a follow-up survey, 75% said they were more likely to adopt a healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of developing dementia, while 80% said the advice would have some impact on their behaviour.
Following successful results from the pilot, Alzheimer's Research UK and Alzheimer’s Society are calling for the dementia risk reduction messaging to become mandatory in NHS Health Checks for people aged between 40-64.
Reducing the risk
Alzheimer’s and other dementias are complex diseases. We are making considerable progress in understanding how they develop and it’s clear that they don’t have one single cause.