WHO: a healthy lifestyle helps reduce risk for cognitive decline, dementia

  • World Health Organization

  • International Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • The World Health Organization has issued guidelines to prevent cognitive decline and dementia that stress healthy living and management of diabetes, hypertension, weight, and dyslipidemia.

Why this matters

  • Dementia affects about 50 million people worldwide, and is projected to affect 152 million by 2050.

Key recommendations

  • Physical activity and cognitive training could reduce the risk for cognitive decline in adults with normal cognition or mild cognitive impairment.
  • Programs to promote cessation of smoking and hazardous or harmful drinking should be offered.
  • A Mediterranean-like diet could reduce cognitive impairment.
  • Vitamins B and E, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and multicomplex supplementation are not to be recommended to protect against cognitive decline.
  • Management of hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and midlife overweight or obesity could prevent cognitive decline and/or dementia.
  • There is insufficient evidence to recommend interventions for depression or hearing loss for prevention of cognitive decline and/or dementia.