WHO report warns of dementia rise
Published on 12 April 2012 12:00 PM
The number of people around the world with dementia is predicted to rise rapidly over the next 20 years, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The WHO warned that the number of dementia patients could almost double to 65.7 million by 2030 if more is not done to prevent the disease, and improve diagnosis and care. Currently, 35.6 million people across the globe have dementia but this figure is likely to increase by at least 70% by 2050, according to the report.
Dementia affects memory, thinking and the ability to perform everyday activities. There are more than 100 different forms of dementia, of which Alzheimer's disease is the most common followed by vascular dementia.
The report was produced in conjunction with Alzheimer's Disease International and warned that more effective diagnosis is needed.
It noted that even in economically advanced countries, the detection rate for dementia is only 20% to 50%. It also revealed that every year 7.7 million new cases of dementia are reported.
A spokesperson for the Alzheimer's Society said the recent commitment by the Prime Minister to help 800,000 people with dementia in the UK is a positive step. David Cameron has pledged extra funding for research into dementia and said he wanted to see the UK become a world leader in the field.
However, the spokesperson added: 'We must now focus our efforts on translating these commitments into better diagnosis and support, increased understanding and advancements in research.'
Copyright Press Association 2012
Read a blog post about the launch of Age UK's knowledge transfer toolkit to mark World Health Day and help developing countries address chronic illnesses