World Alzheimer Report shows global increase in dementia cost and prevalence

Posted on 25th August 2015

A new report estimates that the number of people affected by dementia worldwide has increased to 46million, with the number expected to reach 74.7m by 2030 and 131.5m by 2050 – while the global economic impact has reached $818billion, and is projected to reach $1trillion by 2018. The World Alzheimer Report 2015, which also estimates that the biggest rise in numbers of people affected will be in low income countries, is published on Tuesday 25 August by Alzheimer’s Disease International.

The report provides an update on the current and expected impact of dementia worldwide, with new figures showing:

  • Over 46m worldwide are estimated to be living with dementia, with the numbers projected to increase to 74.7m by 2030 and 131.5m by 2050.
  • The total estimated worldwide cost of dementia is US$818bn – up 35% since 2010 – with the cost expected to reach US$1trillion by 2018.
  • An estimated 58% of all people with dementia currently live in low or middle income countries. This is expected to rise to 63% by 2030 and 68% by 2050.
  • Between now and 2050, the number of people with dementia is expected to rise by 116% in high income countries, compared to 227% in upper middle income countries, 223% in lower middle income countries and 264% in low income countries.

The report urges a broader international initiative to tackle dementia, with an upscaling of research investment along with better awareness of dementia and improvements in care.

Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, said:

“These latest figures underline the vast scale of the global dementia challenge, with millions of families affected and a crippling economic cost. In many parts of the world, welcome gains in life expectancy have brought with them a rise in dementia cases, and an ageing global population shows the need for action is urgent.

“In recent years world leaders have united in their aim to tackle dementia, but while increases in research investment have been welcome, funding is still low in proportion to the scale of the challenge. If we are to head off a global dementia crisis, we must find better treatments and ways to prevent the condition. Research holds the answer, but our scientists must have the backing of governments worldwide if we are to transform the lives of millions of people across the world.”

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