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released: 7 Dec 2016 author: AIHW media release

This report describes a range of modifiable vascular risk factors for dementia, and estimates their individual and combined contribution to the burden of dementia in Australia. Vascular risk factors in this study include smoking, physical inactivity, mid-life high blood pressure and mid-life obesity, as well as vascular diseases that act as risk factors for dementia—diabetes, stroke, atrial fibrillation and chronic kidney disease. It uses burden of disease estimates from the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011 and evidence in the literature that shows a link between these vascular risk factors and development of dementia in later life. It shows that about 30% of the total dementia burden in Australia is due to the joint effect of the vascular risk factors examined; highlighting the potential for preventing dementia and reducing dementia-related burden.

ISSN 2006-4508 2204-4108 ; ISBN 978-1-76054-049-4; Cat. no. BOD 10; 60pp.; $13

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Publication table of contents

  • Preliminary material
    • Title and verso pages
    • Contents
    • Acknowledgments
    • Abbreviations
    • Symbols
    • Summary
    • Prospects for prevention
    • Impact of risk factor reduction on future dementia burden 
  • Body section
    • 1 Introduction
      • 1.1 This report, its aims and analytical approach
      • 1.2 Background
      • 1.3 Structure of this report 
    • 2 Methods
      • 2.1 Selecting risk factors and relative risks for dementia
      • 2.2 Population exposure to selected risk factors
      • 2.3 Calculation of population attributable fractions and attributable burden
      • 2.4 Scenario modelling 
    • 3 Dementia burden attributable to risk factors
      • 3.1 Dementia burden
      • 3.2 Dementia burden attributable to all risk factors combined
      • 3.3 Which risk factors contribute the most dementia burden?
      • 3.4 Impact of reduction in risk factors on dementia burden in 2020 under 2 different scenarios 
    • 4 Discussion
      • 4.1 Key findings
      • 4.2 Potential for prevention
      • 4.3 Strengths of this study
      • 4.4 Limitations of this study
      • 4.5 Conclusion 
  • End matter
    • Appendix A: Selection of relative risks
    • Appendix B: Detailed methods
    • Glossary
    • References
    • List of tables
    • List of figures
    • List of boxes
    • Related publications 

Recommended citation

AIHW 2016. Contribution of vascular diseases and risk factors to the burden of dementia in Australia: Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011. Australian Burden of Disease Study series no. 9. Cat. no. BOD 10. Canberra: AIHW.

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