Dementia facts & figures

Dementia is a collective name for brain syndromes which affect memory, thinking, behaviour and emotion. Dementia is the leading cause of disability and dependency among the elderly. Each person experiences dementia in their own way, but generally those affected eventually need help with all aspects of daily life.

Facts

  • Dementia is a term used to describe different brain disorders that affect memory, thinking, behaviour and emotion.
  • Early symptoms of dementia can include memory loss, difficulty performing familiar tasks, problems with language and changes in personality.
  • There is currently no cure for dementia, but a range of support is available for people with dementia and their carers.
  • Dementia knows no social, economic, or ethnic boundaries.
  • Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. Other causes include vascular disease, dementia with Lewy bodies and fronto-temporal dementia.

Global economic cost of dementia

If 'dementia' was a country, it would be the world’s 18th largest economy

  • US$818 billion

    Worldwide cost of dementia

  • 18th

    Largest economy if dementia was a country

Figures

  • There are currently estimated to be over 50 million people worldwide living with dementia. The number of people affected is set to rise to 152 million by 2050, with the greatest increases in low and middle income countries.
  • Already 60% of people with dementia live in low and middle income countries, but by 2050 this will rise to 71%.
  • A new case of dementia arises somewhere in the world every 3 seconds.
  • Up to three quarters of those with dementia worldwide have not received a diagnosis.
  • Almost 80% of the general public are concerned about developing dementia at some point and 1 in 4 people think that there is nothing we can do to prevent dementia.
  • Almost 62% of healthcare practitioners worldwide incorrectly think that dementia is part of normal ageing.
  • 35% of carers across the world said that they have hidden the diagnosis of dementia of a family member.
  • Over 50% of carers globally say their health has suffered as a result of their caring responsibilities even whilst expressing positive sentiments about their role.

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