Skip to main content

Table 1 Assessment of potentially modifiable risk factors in Brain Health Services

From: Modifiable risk factors for dementia and dementia risk profiling. A user manual for Brain Health Services—part 2 of 6

Risk factor Assessment methods
Education - International Standard Classification of Education (applicable across educational systems) [34]
- Years of education (simple to calculate) [34]
Lifetime traumatic brain injury - Ohio State University Traumatic Brain Injury Identification Method (ideal) [35]
- Medical history or informant or self-reported reports (practical)
Hypertension - Ambulatory devices (ideal)
- Domestic device (practical)
Defined as in-office measures at 140/90 and lower in ambulatory or home-based assessments [36].
Alcohol consumption - Quantity-frequency measures with beverage-specific assessment of time frames and binge-drinking episodes [37] (ideal)
- > 21 units per week to define high risk (more practical)
Obesity and visceral adipose tissue - Waist circumference (ideal)
- Body mass index (practical)
Note: There are different ways to measure waist circumference and different cut-offs depending on ethnicity and world region [38].
Hearing impairment - Pure tone audiometry [39] (gold standard)
- Whispered Voice Test (simple but less reliable)
- Speech-in-noise paradigms (simple but less reliable)
- Questionnaires (less reliable)
Diabetes - Fasting plasma glucose levels (> = 7.0 mmol/l) or HbA1c (> = 6.5%)
- Oral glucose tolerance test to diagnose impaired glucose tolerance [40].
Smoking - Pack years (number of daily packs multiplied by number of years smoking)
- Current smoking status (current versus former/never smoker)
Air pollution - Further research is needed to establish a practical clinically relevant measure.
Depression - Depression screening measures, e.g., Patient-Health-Questionnaire (PHQ) [41].
Social isolation - Short questionnaires, e.g., the Lubben Social Network Scale [42] or the Duke Social Support Index [43].
Physical inactivity - Accelerometers [44]
- Heart rate counters [44]
- Smart phone or smart watch apps [44]
- Self-reported measures (more practical for clinical setting)