21 October 2015: Statement from the UK Health Forum on latest guidance from NICE on dementia, disability and frailty in later life.
The latest data from the Global Burden of Disease study1 has shown that while life expectancy has increased, so have the number of years that people spend in ill health in later life. But ill-health and dependency are not inevitable consequences of growing older. While some people are affected by inherited conditions or other factors, for many, the risk of developing dementia, disability or frailty can be reduced.
This guidance recognises that people need help to make changes to their diet, exercise and drinking habits and to stop smoking, and provides a coherent framework of interventions and actions at both national and local level to create more healthy environments that support change. For the first time, NICE public health guidance links the benefits of physical activity and stopping smoking in particular to delaying the onset of dementia – now the most feared health threat among people over 55, ahead of cancer2.
- Public Health England, Changes in health in England – Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 (The Lancet, September 2015)
- Alzheimer’s Research Trust, YouGov Poll, May 2008; Alzheimer’s Society survey 2008