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.