A survey commissioned by Public Health England (PHE) has identified patchy levels of awareness concerning the “known” dementia risk factors. Most British people, it appears, are able to identify at least one risk factor for increased risk of developing dementia, but only 2% of people can identify them all. Over a quarter (28%) of respondents were unable to name a single risk factor.
The following lifestyle-related risk factors are (nowadays) considered to be the “correct” answers, and were used in the construction and interpretation of the survey: heavy drinking, smoking, high blood pressure, depression, diabetes, and insufficient regular exercise. Obesity as a risk, among numerous other candidate factors, may not have been considered explicitly.
The NatCen: British Social Attitudes survey (BSA) also covers various aspects of:
- Experience of dementia.
- Knowledge of dementia.
- Attitudes to dementia.
- Seeking help (regarding dementia).
- Dementia-friendly communities.
Public unaware of the factors that increase the risk of dementia. [Online]: Public Health England, October 26th 2016.
This relates to:
Marcinkiewicz, A. [and] Reid, S. (2016). Attitudes to dementia: findings from the 2015 British Social Attitudes survey. London: Public Health England / NatCen, 2016.
Guidance For the Public on Dementia Risk Reduction
Probably of interest:
Health matters: midlife approaches to reduce dementia risk. London: Public Health England, March 22nd 2016.
The Alzheimer’s Society‘s “Be Head Strong” booklet discusses lifestyle factors risk that can increase the risk of dementia:
Be Head Strong: How you can reduce your risk of developing dementia. London: Alzheimer’s Society, June 2016.
There is a similar guide for the public from PHE and ARUK, which goes into greater detail:
Reducing your risk of dementia. London: Public Health England / Alzheimer’s Research UK, July 2015.