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Friday 28th October 2016

Dementia loses out to cancer funding

3rd February 2010

An urgent report has called for the funding gap between dementia and cancer care in the UK to be closed.


A document from the Alzheimer’s Research Trust shows that dementia now costs the UK economy twice as much as cancer but gets a fraction of the funding to find causes and cures.

It calls for moves to bridge the gap, particularly as figures show that for every £1 spent on dementia research, £12 is spent on investigating cancer.

Researchers from the University of Oxford compared the cost of caring for a person with dementia to the cost of dealing with the three major causes of death in this country - cancer, heart disease or stroke.

The findings took into account health care, social costs, unpaid carers and productivity losses and revealed that every dementia patient costs the economy £27,647 a year.

That is five times that of cancer and eight times that of a heart disease patient.

With 821,884 sufferers, dementia costs the UK £23bn every year.

The Alzheimer's Research Trust said the true economic impact of dementia had been ignored “for too long.”

The charity’s head Rebecca Wood said: “If research leads to a cure for Alzheimer's and other dementias, annual saving to the UK economy would be equivalent to hosting the London Olympics twice, or funding every British university for three years.”

Alastair Gray, professor of health economics at the University of Oxford and author of the report, said the lack of effective treatments for dementia was “an argument for devoting more effort to research, not less.”


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