Dementia deaths in Scotland rise nearly 6% year on year

11 September 2019

Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, is calling for a government commitment to fund more dementia research than ever before following new figures from National Records of Scotland released today.

The figures show that dementia deaths shot up by 5.7% from the same time last year. In contrast, cancer deaths increased by 1.3%, coronary heart disease deaths fell by 3.1%, and respiratory disease deaths fell by 1.9%.

There are 90,000 people living with dementia in Scotland and more than 850,000 across the UK, a figure set to rise to 1 million by 2021. The condition costs the UK economy £26bn a year with over 80 percent of that cost carried by social and informal care.

Helen Davies, Head of Public Affairs at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“Dementia is the leading cause of death across the UK and yet research funding has not been scaled up to meet this challenge. We know the number of people with dementia will only continue rising unless we can bring about treatments to radically change the way we treat the condition.

“Dementia research is making progress and with the right support we can keep people connected to their families, their worlds and themselves for longer. Alzheimer’s Research UK is calling on government to commit to spend just 1% of the annual cost of dementia on research into breakthroughs for people with dementia.”

In 2017/18, the UK government invested £82.5m in dementia research. Alzheimer’s Research UK’s call would see government commit £320m annually by 2025 based on current cost projections. For more information, please visit