The World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on risk reduction of cognitive decline and dementia provide evidence-based recommendations on lifestyle behaviours and interventions to delay or prevent cognitive decline and dementia.
The WHO guidelines recommend that people can reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia by getting regular exercise, not smoking, avoiding harmful use of alcohol, controlling their weight, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
The guidelines provide the knowledge base for health-care providers to advise patients on what they can do to help prevent cognitive decline and dementia. They will also be useful for governments, policy-makers and planning authorities to guide them in developing policy and designing programmes that encourage healthy lifestyles.
The reduction of risk factors for dementia is one of several areas of action included in WHO’s Global action plan for the public health response to dementia. Other areas include:
- strengthening information systems for dementia
- diagnosis, treatment and care
- supporting carers of people with dementia and
- research and innovation.