The Australian National University
Hotspots of dementia risk in Australian communities: an approach to better targeting preventive interventions
Alzheimer's Australia Dementia Research Foundation
Chronic illnesses such as dementia, diabetes and cardiovascular disease are predicted to rise significantly in Australia over the next few decades, posing challenges that will need to be met by effective preventive medicine strategies and health services planning.
This project will develop and apply new methodologies to identify hotspots of dementia risk in local communities using general practice records and spatial analysis techniques. This will allow interventions to be targeted at the right place, at the right time, and to the right people. It will also examine the possible link between hotspot areas and built environment characteristics and lifestyle. We hypothesise that dementia risk hotspots will be highly clustered in environments with higher densities of fast-food outlets, lower socio-economic areas, and fewer green spaces that support physical activity. This work will provide an innovative tool to help address the predicted dramatic rise of dementia in Australian communities and the technique can be used for other chronic diseases.