Today, at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC), new research from Germany and the United States -- as well as an analysis of previously published studies -- shows that the age-specific incidence rates of dementia (and in some cases. prevalence of dementia) have declined, at least among whites in higher-income countries. Researchers speculate that this decrease is the result of improvements in two key risk factors associated with dementia: levels of education, and cardiovascular disease and risk. But, this all comes with a cautionary note: the trends could reverse in the near future given the high rates of midlife obesity and diabetes, which are linked to increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
The U.S. study examined data from the Framingham heart study -- an ongoing, multi-generational cohort study that has existed since 1948. It looked at the five-year dementia incidence among those aged 60 and older in four different "epochs" -- one from each decade since the 1970s. Compared to that first epoch, the incidence of dementia declined 17 percent in the 1980s epoch, 32 percent in the 1990s epoch, and 42 percent in the 2000s epoch. During this same period of time, researchers found that study participants had substantial improvement in educational attainment; better management of blood pressure; higher levels of HDL cholesterol (the "good cholesterol"); and a considerable decline in smoking, heart disease, and stroke. Lead author Dr. Claudia Satizabal of the Boston University School of Medicine noted, "Primary prevention might offer the key to prevent some cases of dementia or at least delay the clinical onset of dementia."
There are a couple of cautionary notes:
The Framingham sample is largely white individuals, meaning that the same trend of declining dementia incidence may not be true across other racial and ethnic groups.
The dramatic increase in midlife obesity and diabetes may halt -- and could even potentially reverse -- this trend when today's middle-aged Americans reach the age of greater risk of developing Alzheimer's and other dementias.
While age-specific incidence rates, at least among whites, may have declined, prevalence -- the total number of people with the disease -- is still projected to increase because of the aging of the large baby boom generation.
From a public health perspective, the growing Alzheimer's prevalence indicates that the burden of the disease on American society will continue to increase. But, the incidence data discussed today at AAIC show that public health action to promote healthy lifestyles could potentially reduce that burden.
SOPHE Internship Program
Last Updated on Saturday, 14 June 2014 20:00
Student Internship Program
SOPHE interns can expect to work on a variety of projects and tasks related to advocacy, program planning, communications planning/outreach, research, conference planning, fundraising, chapter development, and other administrative responsibilities related to Public Health.
Upon acceptance, a scope of work is tailored to each intern’s expertise and aligns with SOPHE's mission and Strategic Plan.
Read more about SOPHE's Internship Program here (PDF).
How to Apply: All applicants must submit:
SOPHE Internship Application (PDF)
2 References (Name and Contact Information)
The application and all requested materials must be submitted together. Full applications should be sent to:
SOPHE Internship Program
10 G Street, NE, Suite 605
Washington, DC 20002
It is my great pleasure to announce the launch of the Pitzer College 50th Anniversary Engaged Faculty Collection: Community Engagement and Activist Scholarship! This Anthology features some of Pitzer College's most beloved and radical professors offering powerful analysis and critical reflections on the scholarship of engagement and community-based education. The chapters cover a diverse range of social issues and community partnerships -- Please pass this around to other scholars and activists interested in social change work through community engagement. And please let us know what you think!
You can find this digital book by following the link: http://www.pitzer.edu/anthology/FacultyAnthologyFINAL.pdf
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Voices for Healthy Kids
On behalf of the Voices for Healthy Kids team, we are excited to share with you the toolkit on school foods entitled “Make Food Choices an Easy ‘A’.” To receive access to the toolkit, click here.
This toolkit is a compilation of facts, sample materials, and guidance on how to build, engage, and mobilize a social change movement in your state or community on this critical issue. The toolkit is wrapped together by a unique theme designed to maximize interest and action on schools foods. Together with a collection of parallel toolkits on other proven social change strategies to help kids live more active, healthful lives, we want to help focus and energize advocates around the country.
This toolkit is for you to use and share. Just as important, we want to hear back from you. We consider our toolkits to be dynamic documents. We want to update, improve, and add to them based on the insights and lessons in the field. Please share back with us your comments for the next version.
Voices for Healthy Kids is a collaboration between the American Heart Association and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation launched in February 2013. Together with a diverse array of partners, we are working to engage, organize and mobilize advocates to improve the health of their communities and reverse the childhood obesity epidemic. There are now more than one-in- three children and teens in the U.S. who are overweight or obese. Voices for Healthy Kids is focused on advocating for policy and social change at the community, state, and federal levels in order to help young people eat healthier foods and be more active. Find out more at www.voicesforhealthykids.org.
If you want to learn more about Voices for Healthy Kids, we have many opportunities to share resources, to get involved in advocacy efforts at the state and local level as well as join us in support of reversing youth obesity through policy and advocacy efforts. For more information, please email us at
We look forward to hearing from you.