Longevity

101 Facts About Ageing #4: The Rise Of Dementia

Posted on 3 July 2021

As Daniel Patrick Moynihan, an American sociologist, politician, and diplomat once said: “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts”. And we wholeheartedly agree. A shared set of facts is the first step to building a better world with longevity for all. In that spirit, we are creating a series that covers 101 indisputable facts about ageing, health and longevity.

Dementia refers to a significant loss of cognitive function such that daily life becomes increasingly challenging. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, accounting for 60-70% of cases globally. Dementia mainly affects older people, and the probability of developing dementia increases almost exponentially with age. According to the UK’s 2014 report, the probability of a person in the UK having dementia at age 65-69 was less than 3%. At age 85-89, it was around 18%. Dementia is more common in females than in males at a given age. Between the ages of 85 and 89, around 15% of males had dementia, compared with 20% of females. Because women also live longer than men on average, there may be around twice as many women as men who are living with dementia worldwide.

Above: The estimated percentage of people living with dementia in different age groups for males, females, and overall.
Source

As the population ages, so too will the number of people living with dementia. Currently, around 50 million in the world have dementia. If the current trend continues (which is likely) then this number is projected to rise to 82 million in 2030 and 152 million in 2050, so a roughly 300% increase over 30 years. By comparison, the world’s population is projected to grow by about 25% during that time.


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