Dementia: 300% increase in case numbers worldwide by 2050?

To a new studythe number of adults with dementia worldwide is expected to almost triple to 153 million by 2050.

According to the researchers, this increase is mainly due to growth and at aging Population. But they also point to four dementia risk factors – smoking, obesity, high blood sugar and low education – as other causes for this increase.

Dementia is currently the seventh leading cause of death worldwide and a leading cause of disability and dependency in the elderly, with the global cost associated with the disease being estimated at more than in 2019 880 billion euros.

How will the situation in Europe be?

Cases of dementia are expected to increase in all countries, but it is estimated that much of Europe will see a smaller but still significant increase compared to other parts of the world.

To estimatesIt is in North Africa and at middle East the largest increase (367%), followed by sub-Saharan Africa (357%).

L’Western Europe is expected to increase by 74%, from almost 8 million cases of dementia in 2019 to almost 14 million in 2050.

In central Europe, cases are expected to increase by 82% from almost 2 million adults with dementia to almost 3.6 millionEastern Europe should, in turn, see a 92% jump from 2.9 million to more than 5.5 million cases.

How to prevent these increases?

We must reduce exposure to key risk factors in every countrysaid lead author Emma Nichols of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.

That means expanding low-cost, locally appropriate programs that promote healthier eating, more exercise, smoking cessation and better access to education. And it also means continuing to invest in research to identify effective treatments to stop, slow or prevent dementia.“.

Is dementia inevitable?

Although the dementia mainly affects the elderly, it is not an inevitable consequence of aging.

According to a report by Lancet Committee published in 2020, up to 40% of dementia cases could be prevented or delayed if exposure to 12 known risk factors were eliminated: low education, high blood pressure, hearing loss, smoking, midlife obesity, depression, physical inactivity, diabetes, social isolation, excessive alcohol consumption, head injuries and air pollution.

However, the authors of this new study acknowledged that their analysis was limited by the lack of high-quality data in several regions of the world and by studies using different methods and definitions of dementia.

Article translated from English

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