Dementia does not discriminate. It can affect people of all ages, genders and professions.
In the UK, there are around 850,000 people living with dementia and that number will rise to over one million by 2025.
Currently, only around 530,000 (62%) people have a formal dementia diagnosis. This is due to a number of factors, including difficulty diagnosing in the early stages, the slow progression of the diseases that cause it and the lack of public understanding. It is estimated that one in three children born in the UK today will develop dementia unless we can find new treatments and preventions.
As age is the biggest risk factor for dementia, the majority of people with the condition are over 65.
Someone’s risk of developing dementia rises as they get older. One in 14 over the age of 65 have dementia, and this rises to one in six over the age of 80. However, dementia is not an inevitable part of ageing and younger people can develop the condition too.
Did you know there are over 42,000 people under the age of 65 with dementia in the UK?
This is known as early onset dementia.
It’s a fact that women are more likely to develop dementia in their lifetimes than men. Of the 850,000 people with the condition, 65% of them are women while 35% are men. One of the main reasons for this is due to the longer life expectancy of women. While women are at higher risk of dementia, they are also more likely to care for people with the condition too.
Dementia is not just a UK-wide issue, it is having a huge impact across the globe – around 50 million people are currently living with it.
Every three seconds someone will develop the condition.
East Asia is the region with the most people living with dementia (9.8m), followed by Western Europe (7.5m), South Asia (5.1m) and North America (4.8m). And 58% of all people with dementia live in lower middle-income countries – this will rise to 68% by 2050.
Despite the number of people dementia affects, there is still lots of misunderstanding, myth and stigma surrounding the condition. This is particularly the case in black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. But research tells us that people from these communities may be more likely to develop dementia than others.
That’s why Alzheimer’s Research UK has a Let’s talk about dementia campaign to raise awareness of dementia, get people talking about it and banish some of those myths and misunderstandings.
So what does the future hold?
While this does paint a bleak picture, through the power of research we can make breakthroughs possible and stop this devastating condition from having such an impact on so many people. Alzheimer’s Research UK has an ambitious mission of bringing about a life-changing treatment for dementia by 2025.
If we could delay the symptoms by five years, there would be 469,000 fewer people with the condition in the UK by 2030 and that would save the UK economy £21.2bn a year by 2050.