Public Health England includes dementia risk as part of NHS Health Check

15 June 2018        

Category: BHF Comment

Public Health England have announced that healthcare professionals in GP surgeries and the community will soon be giving advice on dementia risk to patients as part of the NHS Health Check.

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Service will Benefit Patients

According to the public health body, adding the dementia element to the NHS Health Check programme will enable healthcare professionals to talk to their patients about how they can reduce their dementia risk, such as by maintaining their social life, keeping mentally and physically active and stopping smoking.

It is estimated that over 850,000 people are living with dementia in the UK with little public understanding of how it’s possible to reduce the risk. While much of the NHS Health Check focuses on reducing cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, the advice for preventing CVD is much the same as for dementia: ‘what’s good for the heart is good for the brain’.

Vascular dementia, a common type of dementia, is closely linked to heart and circulatory disease. It is the second most common cause of dementia after Alzheimer's.

Saving Lives

Maureen Talbot, Our Senior Cardiac Nurse, said:

“The NHS health check has been hugely successful in starting conversations with patients about their risk of developing heart disease. But few people recognise that what's often good for the heart is also good for the brain. The reality is that people living with coronary heart disease are twice as likely to develop vascular dementia, and there are many things you can do to lower your risk of both; Better recognising the connection between these conditions – both through research and prevention initiatives like the NHS Health Check – could lead to more people taking action to improve their health, as well as new treatments to tackle the diseases."