Research published in The BMJ has estimated that there will be 1.2million people living with dementia in England and Wales by 2040 – an increase of 57% from 2016 – with the cause mainly due to our ageing population.
The researchers, based at University College London and the University of Liverpool, set out to predict the future impact of dementia by developing a mathematical model (IMPACT – Better Ageing Model) that takes account of disease trends and death rates alongside the effects of increasing life expectancy.
Results from the study suggest that even though the number of new cases of dementia is declining, the total number of people living with dementia in England and Wales is projected to increase by 57% by 2040, compared to 2016.
Dr Matthew Norton, Director of Policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, said:
“Dementia is not an inevitability in later life, but risk does increase with age, so it is no surprise that the number of people living with the condition is going to soar as our population continues to grow older. This latest study is suggesting that there will be 1.2million people in England and Wales with the condition by 2040, even with improved health having an impact on the numbers of new cases. It throws into sharp relief the need for better treatments and preventions to allay fears that spiraling numbers affected by dementia could place unsustainable strain on the NHS, families and society as a whole.
“The only way to reduce the number of people developing dementia, and bring an end to the heartache caused by this devastating condition, is to invest in pioneering research. Alzheimer’s Research UK has committed to bringing about a life-changing treatment for dementia by 2025. By achieving this ambitious goal, we will be able to improve the lives of millions of people worldwide and will alleviate the personal, financial and social pressures that come with dementia. But we cannot do this alone. We need dementia research to remain a national priority and continued investment is vital if we are to stop these figures from becoming a reality.”
Posted in Policy news