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Global Dementia Rate Could Triple by 2050 Unless Risk Factors Are Controlled, Study Claims

Elderly woman hands putting missing white jigsaw puzzle piece down into the place as a human brain shape. Creative idea for memory loss, dementia, Alzheimer's disease and mental health concept.
Global Dementia Rate Could Triple by 2050 Unless Risk Factors Are Controlled, Study Claims (PHOTO: Orawan/stock.adobe.com)

A new study published in The Lancet on Thursday, January 6, claims that global cases of dementia could raise up to 300% by 2050 if countries do not act swiftly to address the factors of this age-related disease. The new study gives policymakers, public health officials new insights to understand the factors that increase the risk of developing dementia based on available data.

 

the brain of a person with Alzheimer's

Healthy brain (left) versus the brain with Alzheimer’s disease (right) (PHOTO: Alzheimer’s Association via BrainFacts.org)

 

Dementia Cases Expected to Rise in Every Country

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that dementia is currently the seventh leading cause of death worldwide, Good Morning America (GMA) reported. It contributes to the high rates of disability among people with advanced age ad is associated with a global cost of up to $1 trillion in 2019.

The new study used a mathematical tool to estimate the global prevalence of dementia in which showed that cases will rise up to 300%, from the current 57 million to 153 million cases. In the US, researchers estimate that it will become 10.5 million from the current number of 5.2 million.

Moreover, Euronews reported that the study predicted North Africa and the Middle East will have the largest increase at 367% followed by sub-Saharan Africa at 357%. Meanwhile, Western Europe is expected to see an increase of 74%; Central Europe will have an 82% increase, and Eastern Europe will see a jump of cases at 92%.

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Mitigating Risk Factors of Dementia is the Key to Low Rates

Alzheimer’s disease, a kind of dementia, is usually observed in older people. But researchers of the study said that it should not be viewed as a normal part of aging since many risk factors contribute to the disease. In their study, researchers focused on four risk factors, namely: obesity, smoking, high blood sugar, and low educational attainment.

Early mitigation of risk factors could help improve prognosis or outcomes. According to Daily Record, NHS Scotland urges elderly people to immediately speak to their GP if they become more forgetful.

A spokesperson from the health agency remarked that memory loss could be a sign of aging due to age, stress, tiredness, and other illnesses. If being forgetful is already affecting one’s lifestyle, it is advisable to immediately seek help from professionals.

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