Dementia :: UK leadership needed to tackle global cost of dementia

The Alzheimer?s Society called for UK leadership in tackling the global rise in dementia, in response to new estimates which put the worldwide cost of dementia at US $315.4 billion per year.

Neil Hunt, chief executive of the Alzheimer?s Society, says,

‘The UK should be leading the fight against the devastation of dementia. Dementia costs the UK ?17 billion each year, or ?539 per second, yet there is no plan for dealing with dementia today or in the future. We must tackle this challenge head on with a national dementia strategy.

‘We can’t afford to ignore the real cost of dementia to individuals, government and services. Dementia will place an intolerable strain on our health and social care system unless we act now.’

The Dementia UK report recently published by the Alzheimer?s Society exposed that in less than 20 years nearly a million people in the UK will be living with dementia. This will soar to 1.7 million people by 2050. Dementia is one of the main causes of disability in older people ahead of cancer and cardiovascular disease, yet only ?11 is spent on dementia research per person with dementia, compared to ?289 for cancer patients.

The US $315.4 billion figure was published as part of the study, ?An Estimate of the Total Worldwide Societal Costs of Dementia in 2005?, in the American Alzheimer?s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer?s Association this month.

700,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia, more than half have Alzheimer?s disease. In less than 20 years nearly a million people will be living with dementia. This will soar to 1.7 million people by 2051. 1 in 5 people over 80 have dementia.


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