‘Dementia Hotspots’ maps reveal scale of condition across the UK


By Philip Tubby | Wednesday 11 October 2017

The areas hardest hit by dementia in the UK have been revealed in two interactive maps launched by Alzheimer’s Research UK – with coastal areas in the south being some of the worst affected.

Currently, there are 850,000 people in the UK living with the dementia and this number is set to soar to one million by 2025. Public understanding of the condition is still low – and despite recent increases in funding, research into the condition still lags behind other serious conditions.

Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, has developed the new online tool ahead of a parliamentary information session, to highlight to MPs, policymakers and the wider public, the importance of keeping dementia high on the political agenda. For the first time, people can see the impact of dementia in their local area and find out how their region compares to the rest of the UK. The resource is also part of the charity’s Dementia Statistics Hub, which contains a multitude of up-to-date information about the condition.

Split between parliamentary constituencies and Clinical Commissioning Groups’ local areas, the maps reveal the number of people living in those areas with dementia, along with the percentage of the population with the condition. Alzheimer’s Research UK plans to build on these resources in the future, adding more information about the current state of dementia in the UK.

According to the data, coastal constituencies in the south of England have the highest number of people living with dementia per head of population – with Christchurch, in Dorset, topping the list. In this constituency, 2,400 people have dementia, which is 2.8% of its overall population – more than double the country’s average of 1.3%.

The five constituencies with the highest prevalence of dementia, per head of population are:

  • Christchurch                             28 per 1,000 people.
  • New Forest West                      27 per 1,000 people.
  • North Norfolk                            24 per 1,000 people.
  • Clacton                                     24 per 1,000 people.
  • Worthing West                          24 per 1,000 people.

The five lowest were:

  • Poplar and Limehouse               4 per 1,000 people.
  • West Ham                                  5 per 1,000 people.
  • Bethnal Green and Bow             5 per 1,000 people.
  • Manchester Central                    5 per 1,000 people.
  • Hackney South and Shoreditch  5 per 1,000 people.

On Thursday 19 October, the charity will team up with global pharmaceutical company, MSD, to host a Parliamentary information session for MPs. MPs attending will hear about the impact of dementia in their constituency and learn how they can help defeat the condition.

Dr Matthew Norton, Director of Policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“Dementia is our greatest medical challenge and with our ageing population, the number of people affected by this devastating condition is only going to rise. Today, one in three people have a family member or close friend with dementia. Despite this, there is still a worrying lack of public understanding about the condition, which is we have developed the dementia hotspots maps.

“As the UK’s leading dementia research charity, one of our biggest challenges is to empower people with the knowledge that this cruel and unforgiving condition can be defeated. Dementia is not an inevitable part of ageing, it is caused by diseases. Through the power of research, we know we can change the outlook for people with dementia – but to achieve this, research must have the backing of the public and parliament. The last government made dementia a national priority and great strides are being made towards finding an effective treatment and this momentum must continue. These maps underline the devastating impact dementia is having on our communities, and we hope it will inspire people to join our movement to bring an end to the fear, harm and heartbreak caused by dementia.”

To take a look at dementia in your area, find the maps here: www.dementiastatistics.org/statistics/dementia-maps

If you’d like to campaign on behalf of Alzheimer’s Research UK and all the people impact by dementia, contact policy@alzheimersresearchuk.org

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Philip Tubby