This site is intended for health professionals only

Dementia "nation's biggest fear"

Britions fear dementia more than any other illness in old age but still fail to take simple steps to reduce their risk, a national survey suggests.

The Alzheimer's Society survey has found that 40% of people fear developing dementia in later life, more than those who fear cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Yet some 62% also thought that their lifestyle did not affect their odds of developing dementia.

Neil Hunt, executive of the Alzheimer's Society, says: "Dementia may be the nation's biggest fear but it is a fear that not many people talk about.

"We want people to change their attitude towards dementia, change their lifestyle and donate their spare change to help fight against dementia."

The Alzheimer's Society's campaign "Be Headstrong" advises individuals to quit smoking, eat less saturated fat, exercise regularly, and lead an active social life in order to keep Alzheimer's at bay.

Alzheimer's Society Ambassador, Russell Grant says: "Some of the challenges are easier than others, I already enjoy an active social life, and the odd glass of wine, but now I am going to take serious action to eat the right foods and get active.

"It is hard to predict the future, but if we start to tackle dementia now, hopefully we can see a future where less and less people's lives will be blighted by dementia."

This week is Alzheimer's Awareness Week.

Alzheimer's Society