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Dementia deaths double in a decade

7th November 2012

Rates of death from dementia have risen significantly in the UK over the last decade.

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Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that the proportion of people dying of dementia has more than doubled in that period and by 2021 one in eight of all deaths could be due to the brain disease.

In England and Wales 10.3% of women die of dementia, according to ONS mortality figures for 2011, which is up from 4.3 per cent in 2001. For men, the proportion of deaths from dementia has risen from 2% to 5.2% in that time.

However, projections suggest that if these rises are sustained, 12% of all deaths will be attributed to dementia by 2021.

Professor Clive Ballard, head of research at The Alzheimer’s Society, said the increase in deaths attributed to dementia was due to the country’s ageing population and to a greater understanding that the disease did actually kill people.

He added: “Dementia is getting more common, because people are living longer. There’s an exponential increase in dementia with age. One in 20 people at 65 have it, but that increases to one in five at 80, one in three at 90 and one in two at 95.”

With doctors now having a better understanding of the condition, they were more likely to record it as a cause of death, said Professor Ballard.

Prime Minister David Cameron said tackling dementia was one of his personal priorities with funding for research into the condition doubling by 2015.

 

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