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What is a population-level approach to prevention, and how could we apply it to dementia risk reduction?

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The World Health Organisation's 2022 'blueprint for dementia research' highlights the need for more research into population-level risk reduction. However, definitions of population-level prevention vary, and application to dementia is challenging because of its multi-factorial aetiology and a maturing prevention evidence base. This paper compares and contrasts key concepts of 'population-level prevention' from the literature, explores related theoretical models and policy frameworks, and applies this to dementia risk reduction. We reach a proposed definition of population-level risk reduction of dementia, which focusses on the need to change societal conditions such that the population is less likely to develop modifiable risk factors known to be associated with dementia, without the need for high-agency behaviour change by individuals. This definition, alongside identified policy frameworks, can inform synthesis of existing evidence and help to co-ordinate the generation of new evidence.



Dementia, Population-level, Prevention, Public health, Risk reduction, Humans, Dementia, Risk Factors, Risk Reduction Behavior

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Public Health

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Elsevier BV
Department of Health (via National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)) (NIHR302276)