Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease have risen from the 24th leading cause of death in the UK to the 10th in the last 20 years according to a study published in The Lancet today (Tuesday 5 March 2013). The study is a UK-specific analysis of worldwide data published late last year as the Global Burden of Disease and looks into how the UK is performing on a number of public health outcomes.
As well as condition specific results, the study analyses the UK’s performance on outcomes such as premature mortality and found that the nation has fallen behind 14 other EU countries as well as Australia and the USA.
Alzheimer’s Society comment:
‘These figures lay out the challenge that dementia poses to the UK but in many ways are not surprising. In fact as the condition is often not recorded as a cause of death this may even be an understatement. Dementia is now one of the top 10, and fastest rising causes of death. As well as the untold human cost, dementia costs the economy £23billion a year.
Despite these statistics and the fact one in three people over the age of 65 will develop it, funding for dementia research lags far behind other conditions like cancer. With numbers soaring and costs trebling we need urgent action to find more effective treatments and ultimately defeat dementia.’
Director of External Affairs
“UK health performance: findings of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010”,
Murray et al.
The Lancet. Published online March 5, 2013.