Over 40s Health Check to Include Dementia Advice

Guidance on how to reduce the risk of dementia will be given to patients at GP surgeries and through community health programmes.

Public Health England (PHE) said up to one-third of dementia cases could be improved through lifestyle choices. But its says 28% of people have no awareness of risk factors and only 2% know what they can do to reduce them.

The planned roll-out follows a small pilot conducted by PHE, with the help of Alzheimer's Research UK and the Alzheimer's Society, which led to both charities calling for it to become mandatory.

The current health check in England focuses on reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease but the PHE states that the advice for dementia is much the same, adding: "What's good for the heart is good for the brain."

Maintaining a social life, keeping mentally and physically active, and stopping smoking are all recommended by healthcare professionals as ways of reducing the risk.

More than 14 million people - 91% of those eligible - have been offered an NHS health check over the past five years, but fewer than 50% - or seven million - have had one.

Duncan Selbie, chief executive of PHE, said the check "could add years to your life".

Minister for Public Health, Steve Brine, added: "Early detection and prevention are vital to the health of our nation and our programmes in this area are among the most ambitious in the world.
"Our aim is to keep everyone as healthy as possible, for as long as possible."

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