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Number of adults with dementia to exceed 150m by 2050, study finds | Dementia

The number of adults with dementia worldwide is on course to nearly triple, to 153 million by 2050, according to the first study of its kind.

Experts described the data as shocking and said it was clear that dementia represented a “major and rapidly growing threat to health and social care systems of the future” in every community, country and continent.

US researchers said the surge from about 57 million cases in 2019 will be attributed primarily to population growth and aging. However, several risk factors for dementia — including obesity, smoking and high blood sugar — would also fuel this increase, they said.

Improvements in access to global education are expected to reduce the global prevalence of dementia by 6.2 million cases by 2050. But this will be countered by projected trends in obesity, high blood sugar, and smoking, which are expected to result in 6.8 million cases. Additional cases of dementia.

The Global Burden of Disease Study is the first to provide predictive estimates for adults aged 40 and over in 195 countries around the world. The results were published in The Lancet Public Health.

Dementia cases will rise in every country, with the largest growth in North Africa, the Middle East (367%) and Eastern Sub-Saharan Africa (357%). The countries expected to record the largest increases globally are Qatar (1,926%), the United Arab Emirates (1,795%) and Bahrain (1,084%).

The study notes that the lowest estimated increases were in high-income Asia Pacific (53%) and Western Europe (74%). Japan is expected to register the smallest increase in the world at 27%.

In the UK, the number of dementia cases is expected to increase by 75%, from just over 907,000 in 2019 to nearly 1.6 million in 2050.

Hilary Evans, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, who was not involved in the study, said the numbers “reveal the appalling scale of dementia worldwide”.

“We need to see concerted global action to avoid tripling this number,” she said. Dementia not only affects individuals, it can destroy entire families, networks of friends, and loved ones. The heartbreaking personal cost of dementia goes hand in hand with huge economic and societal impacts, making the case for governments around the world to do more to protect lives now and in the future.”

Dementia is already one of the leading causes of disability and dependency among older adults globally, with costs in 2019 estimated at more than $1 trillion (£750 billion).

Although dementia mainly affects the elderly, it is not an inevitable consequence of aging. The Lancet Commission suggested in 2020 that up to 40% of cases could be prevented or delayed if exposure to 12 known risk factors were eliminated: low education, high blood pressure, hearing impairment, smoking, middle-aged obesity, depression, physical inactivity Diabetes, social. Isolation, excessive drinking, head injury, air pollution.

The researchers behind the new study called for more robust preventive efforts to reduce dementia risk through lifestyle factors such as education, diet and exercise, along with research to discover effective disease-modifying therapies and new modifiable risk factors to reduce the burden of disease in the future.

“To have the greatest impact, we need to reduce exposure to key risk factors in each country,” said lead author Emma Nichols, of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. “For most people, this means scaling up locally appropriate, low-cost programs that support Healthy diets, more exercise, smoking cessation, and better access to education.”

The authors acknowledge that their analysis was limited by the lack of high-quality data in many parts of the world and studies using different methodologies and definitions of dementia.

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