Global dementia cases to triple by 2050

January 7, 2022

New data shows global dementia cases are set to triple by 2050 –  an estimated 153 million people will be living with dementia by 2050.

A global collaboration of researchers estimated global dementia prevalence from 1990 to 2019. They then used information about trends in risk factors for dementia to forecast the number of dementia cases by 2050.

The researchers suggest that the number of people living with dementia is set to increase from an estimated 57 million in 2019 to 153 million by 2050.

The research was first presented at the 2021 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) and is published in peer-reviewed journal, The Lancet.

The researchers found the highest increases in dementia cases will likely come from sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East. This growth is driven largely by population growth and an ageing population.

Using information available on risk factors, they found that globally there would be an increase of 6.8 million dementia cases between 2019 and 2050 specifically due to poorer heart health factors, whereas improved education would account for a reduction of 6.2 million.

Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said, ‘The news that almost 7 million new global cases could be down to poor heart health must act as a wakeup call for us all. There is robust evidence that what’s good for the heart is also good for the brain. Not smoking, only drinking within the recommended limits, staying mentally and physically active, eating a balanced diet, and keeping blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check can all help to keep our brains healthy as we age.’

Evans added, ‘During the pandemic, we’ve seen how the right investment and leadership can enable innovative approaches to fast-track life-saving vaccines for COVID-19. We must see that same bold, coordinated and ambitious action to make the UK a world-leader to overcome dementia. Today’s news only strengthens our call on the UK Government to honour their manifesto pledge to double funding for dementia research, to bring about life-changing treatments.’

Visit the Alzheimer's Research UK website to find out more information about the charity's Brain Health initiative.

In other news, a coalition of organisations has written to local health and care leaders calling on them to end harmful isolation practices and to help promote the rights of people in care



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