We are living longer than ever before. However, many of us are not enjoying good health in older age, as the increase in healthy life expectancy struggles to keep pace with longer life expectancy. The Department of Health therefore asked the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), custodians of health and social care guidance for the nation, to devise their first set of guidelines on mid-life interventions aimed at helping to delay or prevent dementia, disability and frailty later in life.
Dr Louise Lafortune is the Scientific Coordinator of the NIHR School for Public Health Research’s Ageing Well Programme, based at the Institute of Public Health. Dr Lafortune and her team were successful in their bid to conduct three rapid systematic reviews to inform the NICE guidance. Their reviews addressed the following key topics:
- What prevents or limits the uptake and maintenance of healthy behaviours by people in mid-life?
- Which behaviours in mid-life are associated with successful ageing and how strongly are the behaviours and health linked?
- How effective and cost effective are mid-life interventions that seek to increase the uptake and maintenance of healthy lifestyle factors?