Residents in Wales urged to live healthier lives to reduce dementia risk

10 February 2017

Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, has welcomed a call to action to people in Wales, which is urging them to take positive steps to reduce their risk of dementia.

The Welsh Government and Public Health Wales are encouraging the public to ‘act now’ and pledge to take these six steps, in an effort to reduce their future risk of developing dementia:

  • be active (physically and socially)
  • check their health regularly
  • try new things
  • say no to smoking
  • only drink alcohol within the guidelines, if at all
  • watch their weight.

Dr Matt Norton, Director of Policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“We welcome the call to action from the Welsh Government and Public Health Wales, and we hope this will encourage people in Wales to take these steps to reduce their risk of dementia.

“While age is the biggest risk factor for dementia, current evidence also suggests that people can help to reduce their risk by leading a healthy lifestyle. This includes doing regular exercise, not smoking and eating a healthy, balanced diet. It’s also important to monitor blood pressure and cholesterol levels with a GP to keep them in check. Research suggests that keeping healthy in mid-life is important, as well as in older age. There is some evidence to suggest that keeping socially and mentally active may also help lower the risk of dementia, so it’s important for people to keep doing activities that they enjoy.

“While it’s good to see risk reduction methods being highlighted, it is important to remember that we still do not have an effective treatment or cure for dementia. Dementia is the leading cause of death in England and Wales, causing untold heartache for the hundreds of thousands of people living with the condition, as well as those around them.

“Dementia research continues to be underfunded compared to other serious conditions. It is vital that we invest in research in this area, so we can one day live in a world free from the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia.”