First WHO Guidelines on risk reduction of cognitive decline and dementia
On May 14, WHO will launch first Guidelines on risk reduction of cognitive decline and dementia
Dementia is a rapidly growing public health problem affecting around 50 million people globally. This figure is expected to triple by 2050. It is a major cause of disability and dependency among older people and can be devastating for affected individuals and their carers and families. Additionally, the disease inflicts a heavy economic burden, with the costs of caring for people with dementia estimated to rise to US$ 2 trillion annually by 2030.
Currently there is no cure for dementia. Much can be done, however, to delay or slow the onset or progression of the disease. WHO’s first Guidelines on risk reduction of cognitive decline and dementia present recommendations on healthy behaviours to reduce the risk of dementia, such as regular physical exercise, refraining from tobacco use, and eating a healthy diet, as well as maintaining healthy blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. The Guidelines provide a knowledge base for health-care providers, governments, policy-makers and other stakeholders to reduce the risks of cognitive decline and dementia through a public health approach.
Dementia risk reduction is one of the areas of action recommended in WHO’s Global action plan on the public health response to dementia 2017-2025.