Public knowledge of the influence of modifiable cardiovascular risk factors on dementia: a systematic literature review and meta-analysis

Laurence Lloyd Parial, Simon Ching Lam, Yuen Shan Ho, Kwai Ping Lorna Suen, Angela Yee Man Leung (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: This systematic review examined whether the general public are aware of the influence of modifiable cardiovascular risk factors (CVRFs) on dementia. Methods: Following PRISMA guidelines, five electronic databases (PubMed, Medline, CINAHL, ProQuest, and Scopus) were searched for studies published from 2009–2019, using the key terms “knowledge,” “modifiable cardiovascular risk factors,” and “dementia.” Standardized critical appraisal instruments were used to evaluate the quality of the studies. Results: Of the 1,533 articles that were screened, 26 were included in this review. Modifiable
CVRFs of dementia included behavioral factors (physical inactivity, poor dietary practices, high alcohol consumption, and heavy smoking) and medical conditions (hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia, and obesity). Although the association between CVRFs and dementia was identified (pooled prevalence is 24–50%), overall knowledge about this relationship in the general public was low. Sociodemographic variables, such as higher education, better economic status,
and prior contact with a person with dementia, positively influenced dementia risk knowledge. Ethnic minorities showed good awareness of dementia risk from cardiovascular-related conditions. Conclusion: Despite dementia is considered as a public health priority by World Health Organization, knowledge of the modifiable CVRFs and dementia is low in the general population. Public health policymakers should develop appropriate educational programs and interventions to equip the communities and vulnerable groups with this understanding so that they can be prepared to reduce dementia risk.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalAging and Mental Health
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2020


  • Dementia
  • meta-analysis
  • modifiable cardiovascular risk factors
  • public knowledge
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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