Policy report

Improving brain and body health: linking dementia and chronic disease prevention

Public health Cardiovascular diseases Chronic diseases Dementia Burden of disease Australia


This paper summarises some of the growing national and international evidence about the shared risk factors for brain and body health. Estimates suggest that over 30% of dementia cases can be prevented or delayed through a coordinated approach to tackling multiple risk factors for many chronic diseases, particularly cardiovascular disease (CVD).

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recently (May 2019) summarised the existing evidence for risk-factor reduction and formulated guidelines for interventions based on this evidence. These new guidelines provide a strong, foundational knowledge base for governments, policymakers, health care providers and many other stakeholders to inform a national dementia risk-reduction strategy.

The evidence discussed in this paper has been reviewed and endorsed by a wide range of expert individuals and organisations working in the fields of dementia and population health. It will be followed by a policy issues paper, which will identify the ways in which national policy can begin to grasp the full preventative potential of an integrated, risk-reduction approach to brain and body health.

Publication Details
Access Rights Type:
Mitchell Institute Policy Issues Paper no. 2019-01