Dementia in western Europe: epidemiological evidence and implications for policy making
Breteler, Monique MB
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Wu, Y., Fratiglioni, L., Matthews, F., Lobo, A., Breteler, M. M., Skoog, I., & Brayne, C. (2015). Dementia in western Europe: epidemiological evidence and implications for policy making. Lancet Neurology, 15 116-124. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1474-4422(15)00092-7
Dementia impact has received increasing attention of governments and politicians across the globe in recent years. Epidemiological research based Western European populations twenty years ago provided key evidence for dementia policy making, but these estimates are now out of date given dramatic changes in life expectancy, living conditions and health profiles across different generations. To test whether dementia occurrence has changed over the last decades, five studies in Western Europe have now compared the dementia occurrence across time using consistent research methods. These five studies report stable or reduced dementia occurrence of up to 25% over the last decades and suggest stabilising numbers of people with dementia in Western Europe despite population ageing. This may be the result of better education, living conditions, prevention and treatments of vascular risk and chronic conditions and indicate a potential “lifecourse approach” that promoting health in earlier life stages may benefit cognitive and brain health in later life across successive generations. Policy planning and future search must be balanced across primary, secondary and tertiary prevention. Each has their place but primary prevention has the largest modelled potential impact on dementia and disability in societal terms.
Yu-Tzu Wu received a PhD scholarship from the Cambridge Trust, University of Cambridge. Fiona E. Matthews was supported by the Medical Research Council [grant number U105292687].
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S1474-4422(15)00092-7
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/248399
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 UK: England & Wales
Licence URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/uk/
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