Dementia listed as top reason for slowing life expectancy in older people

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By Alice Tuohy | Tuesday 07 August 2018

In new analysis out today, the Office for National Statistics reports that increases in life expectancy are slowing across the UK. In particular, the report notes that increases in the mortality rates for people over the age of 90 echoes increases in deaths caused by dementia.

Dr David Reynolds, Chief Scientific Officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“Dementia is the leading cause of death across the UK and we’ve continued to see the number of people dying from the condition rise in recent years. The slowing in life expectancy gains reflects this trend and emphasises the need for research into finding a way to prevent, slow down or cure the diseases that cause dementia.

“Official statistics show that while deaths from Alzheimer’s and other dementias continue to rise, deaths from diseases such as cancer, circulatory and respiratory diseases have generally decreased during the last two decades. This is largely a result of advances in research that have produced more effective treatments and improved understanding of how to reduce the risk of these conditions, whereas support for dementia research has lagged behind other serious health conditions.

“Despite disturbing trends in dementia death rates and slowing life expectancy, dementia has been absent from leading health priorities for the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England in recent weeks. We must see a greater emphasis from government on funding research into dementia if we are to enable people to live in good health as they grow older.”

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Alice Tuohy