The number of people that have dementia is set to double every 20 years, according to a report in this week's issue of The Lancet. The study reveals that 24 million people have dementia today, and this is set to rise to 42 million by 2020, and 81 million by 2040.
Researchers from Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) combined data from published reviews on the prevalence of dementia for the major regions of the world. They found that of those that live with dementia, 60% live in developing countries, with this number rising to 71% by 2040. The numbers in developed countries are set to increase by 100% between 2001 and 2040, but in India, China, and their south Asian and western Pacific neighbours rates will rise by more than 300% during this period.
The study, led by Cleusa Ferri and Martin Prince (Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK), concludes: "We believe that the detailed estimates contained in this paper are the best currently available basis for policymaking, planning, and allocation of health and welfare resources. Primary prevention should focus on targets suggested by current evidence; risk factors for vascular disease, including hypertension, smoking, type 2 diabetes, and hyperlipidaemia."
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