Dementia leading cause of death in 2022

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By Quang Tran | Wednesday 12 April 2023

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today revealed ‘dementia and Alzheimer’s disease’ were the leading cause of death in 2022. Collectively they accounted for 65,967 deaths (11.4% of the total), up from 61,250 (10.4%) in 2021.

What do the figures show?

The latest figures also revealed that:

  • Coronary heart disease, itself a risk factor for dementia, was the second leading cause of death in both England and Wales.
  • Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease was the leading cause of death among females (42,635 deaths, 15.0% of all female deaths registered), consistent with what we have previously reported.
  • For the first time since the start of the pandemic, Covid-19 has dropped out of the top five leading causes of death in England and Wales.

The impact of dementia

Samantha Benham-Hermetz, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Alzheimer’s Research UK, called these statistics “a stark reminder of the terrible and far-reaching effects of dementia on our society.”

“Our most recent survey showed that 2 in 10 people are unaware that dementia is even a cause of death, yet last year it claimed nearly 66,000 lives in England and Wales alone.”

“This is a stark reminder of the terrible and far-reaching effects of dementia on our society.” – Samantha Benham-Hermetz

She also noted that despite its devastating impact, “there are still no treatments available on the NHS that can slow or stop dementia.”

Samantha Benham-Hermetz, Director of Policy and Public Affairs

Looking to the future

As the UK’s leading dementia research charity, Alzheimer’s Research UK is dedicated to ending to heartbreak of this devastating condition.

Speaking about the charity’s work, Benham-Hermetz said “we must learn the lessons from Covid-19 and speed up progress in finding new ways to treat, diagnose and prevent dementia.”

“At Alzheimer’s Research UK, we will keep working tirelessly to achieve this, and to make sure it stays at the top of the national agenda.”

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Quang Tran