WHO: New Guidelines to Prevent Dementia
The WHO has launched new guidelines to prevent dementia. The guidelines promote adopting a healthy lifestyle to reduce dementia risk. Reducing alcohol and tobacco use are two of the recommendations in the guidelines.
WHO launched the new guidelines to counter the threat of a three-fold increase in dementia over the next 30 years. Today, around 50 million people globally suffer from dementia and there are nearly 10 million new cases every year.
According to the new guidelines people can reduce their risk of dementia by:
- Getting regular exercise
- Not smoking
- Avoiding use of alcohol
- Controlling their weight
- Eating a healthy diet
- Maintaining healthy blood pressure, cholesterol & blood sugar levels
A report by IOGT-NTO published in March also found evidence that alcohol use increases risk of dementia in older people. Alcohol is also a risk factor for other diseases and accidents specifically for older people.
Reducing the risk of lifestyle choices linked to dementia is one of several areas of action included in WHO’s Global action plan for the public health response to the illness.
Other areas include strengthening diagnosis, treatment and care, with a particular emphasis on online support for carers of people with dementia. WHO has launched the iSupport platform to help carers of dementia patients who are often family members. The platform is an online training programme with advice on overall management of care, dealing with behaviour changes and how to look after their own health.