Rating the evidence for dementia risk

To evaluate whether a particular factor has an effect on dementia risk, we need to examine all the evidence, taking into account all the variables including the influence of age on any relationships with dementia risk.

This is what we have done in developing the Your Brain Matters program and its recommendations.

The following star rating system is used on this website to rate the level of evidence that any particular factor is associated with dementia risk, and that altering that factor can reduce your risk of dementia.


Very weak evidence

1 star means the evidence for an association between this factor and dementia risk is inconclusive.

Some studies may suggest an association while others do not, or there may not have been enough quality research to reach a firm conclusion.

There is only a small hint of evidence that this factor might influence dementia risk in some way.


Weak evidence

2 stars means there is some evidence suggesting an association between this factor and dementia risk, but there is still some uncertainty.

There may be some contradictory research findings or other issues making it difficult to reach a firm conclusion.


Moderate evidence

3 stars means there is good, consistent evidence for an association between this factor and dementia risk.

The evidence may come from several observational studies, and reviews of the research literature generally conclude that there is an association.


Strong evidence

4 stars means there is good, consistent evidence for an association between this factor and dementia risk.

The evidence may come from several observational studies.

In addition, the association has been established in meta-analyses of the observational study data, and/or intervention trials have shown positive effects on cognitive function, and/or there is other positive evidence that altering this factor can reduce dementia risk.


Very strong evidence

5 stars means there is good, consistent evidence for an association between this factor and dementia risk.

The evidence may come from several observational studies.

In addition, there is good evidence from intervention trials that altering this factor reduces dementia risk.

This level of evidence from intervention trials does not yet exist for any risk or protective factor, so no factor has yet been awarded 5 stars.


Red Stars

Red stars are used to highlight factors that may also carry other risks, which need to be carefully considered before adopting any behaviour change to reduce dementia risk.

Learn what is meant by 'risk' and how research determines whether a factor affects dementia risk here.

Call the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500 for questions, information, advice.

If you are looking for information about the Macquarie retina research trial which was mentioned recently on TV, we unfortunately do not have any information about the trial. Please contact Macquarie Opthalmology on (02) 9812-3933 for all questions about the trial.

 

DCRC

Your Brain Matters was supported by funding from the Australian Government under the Chronic Disease Prevention and Service Improvement Fund from July 2012 to June 2015.

 

Alzheimer's Australia would like to acknowledge the Aboriginal people as the traditional custodians and carers of the country of Australia.