Less than half of over-40s have taken a free national health check which could reduce the risk of dementia, according to NHS England.
The 20-minute painless assessment, which screens for heart problems, kidney disease and Type 2 diabetes, has been taken by a minority of the 15 million eligible people over the past five years, it said.
Dr James Pickett, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Society, said:
‘We welcomed the addition of dementia to national health checks earlier this year, building on our work with the NHS and Government to improve dementia diagnosis rates, so it’s disappointing that so many people are not attending these assessments.
‘With no cure for dementia and someone in the UK developing the devastating disease every three minutes, prevention is a vital tool in the fight against dementia. Alzheimer’s Society researchers are working tirelessly to find a cure but, until that day, we can all keep our bodies and brains healthy to reduce our risk of developing dementia.
‘Lots of us will make New Year’s Resolutions to get fitter and eat healthier, and research evidence suggests that lifestyle changes like these can also reduce our risk of developing dementia – so putting the Christmas cake down and getting off the sofa is a good idea all round.’