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50,000 cases of dementia missed in lockdown – Dr Hilary shares how to prevent the disease

Dementia: Doctor outlines changes to help prevent disease

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One in ten new dementia sufferers were undiagnosed a new report has warned. It is feared even more cases will be missed if restrictions return in autumn or winter. Dr Hilary Jones appeared on Lorraine to discuss this worrying statistic and proven methods to help prevent the disease. Dr Hillary warned: “Those aged under 65 have a 60 percent chance of developing dementia.”

Dr Hilary: “The last year and half, 50,000 cases have not been given that diagnosis. That results in increased pressure in hospitals.

“If you already know they’ve got a diagnosis with dementia it makes it much easier for people working in A&E.”

He added: “There were 330,000 [hospital] appointments cancelled in that first year because of the pandemic.”

Talking about a recent study linking high cholesterol to dementia, Dr Hilary said: “Cholesterol has always been a factor for the onset of dementia.

“If you have consistently high cholesterol you’re 60 percent more likely to develop dementia.”

Dr Hilary recommended three ways to get high cholesterol down: “Healthy diet, regular exercise and not smoking.”

He added: “It’s confirmation that a healthy lifestyle is a modifiable factor.”

Talking about a recent study linking high cholesterol to dementia, Dr Hilary said: “Cholesterol has always been a factor for the onset of dementia.

“If you have consistently high cholesterol you’re 60 percent more likely to develop dementia.”

Dr Hilary recommended three ways to get high cholesterol down: “Healthy diet, regular exercise and not smoking.”

He added: “It’s confirmation that a healthy lifestyle is a modifiable factor.”

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Professor Alistair Burns, national director for dementia and older people’s mental health at NHS England said doctors “did as they were told” and stopped referring patients for dementia checks in March 2020. Referrals resumed last summer but declined again during the second lockdown.

He said: “There was an effect of 40,000 to 50,000 people who should have been on the dementia register but who were not. That’s the kind of figure we are talking about.

“We do hear a lot about the effect of lockdown on cancer and stroke [diagnosis rates], and that’s absolutely right, but there is an effect on dementia as well.”

He said the backlog came on top of the difficulty of helping sufferers whose routines and activities had been devastated by lockdown.

Dr Hilda Hayo of Dementia UK spooke to Mail Online and added how the charity has been inundated with phonecalls regarding the delays in accessing a diagnosis.

She added: “A diagnosis of dementia can give families clarity, help them plan for the future and provide access to support services in the community.

“With significant delays in this process, then families with dementia will be further left behind.”

How to lower high cholesterol

The NHS recommends eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables daily, but the more the better.

Another useful tip is to choose wholegrain options when it comes to pasta, rice and bread.

These are great sources of fibre, which is another great tool to help reduce cholesterol levels.

Its also recommended to reduce the amount of trans fat in your diet and opt for polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats to help lower your cholesterol levels.

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