Nice | Dementia – advice for those in ‘mid-life’

This is a new guideline from NICE advising that the following advice should be given to people in 'mid-life' to reduce the risk of dementia in later life:

  • stop smoking (strong evidence for an increased risk)
  • be more active (some evidence for an increased risk with inactivity)
  • reduce alcohol consumption (there is an association between dementia and either heavy drinking or abstinence)
  • improve diet (the evidence is conflicting for different elements of diet, but there seems to be evidence that a high fat, low fruit and veg diet increases risk)
  • lose weight or maintain a healthy weight (there is some weak evidence linking weight change with increased risk - either weight loss or gain!)

So another stick we can beat our patients with!

Interestingly, there was also good evidence that having leisure and cognitive activities and strong social networks in mid-life, gives a lower risk of dementia. Less easy to advise patients to get out and get friends...

Louise Hudman

I'm a freelance GP locum in Winchester & Southampton.

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