A call for action to tackle the growing burden of dementia


The proportion of the world’s population that is 65 years of age or greater has grown over the last decades, and this trend will continue. Advancing age is the greatest known risk factor for dementia1, 2. If there is no change in age-standardized prevalence, societal aging is predicted to nearly triple the number of individuals living with dementia worldwide by 20503, 4. It is estimated that, by 2050, the number of individuals with dementia will rise from 47.5 million people to an estimated 135.5 million with most of this increase occurring among people living in low- and middle-income countries2. Aside from the personal cost of dementia, these rising numbers will be associated with an economic burden. The 2015 global estimated cost of dementia was US$ 818 billion and is expected to be a trillion dollars by 20185. The World Health Organization (WHO) now recognizes dementia as a public health priority6, 7. To respond to this challenge, a global series of actions initiated during the UK G8-Presidency in 2013 were undertaken by bodies such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)8, Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) and by the World Dementia Council9.

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