Global Impact of Dementia Staggering

Global Impact of Dementia StaggeringGlobal Impact of Dementia Staggering

About 9.9 million new cases of dementia will be diagnosed this year around the world — that’s 1 case every 3 seconds.

Globally, the number of people living with dementia is expected to rise from the current 46 million to 131.5 million by 2050.

Costs to treat dementia world-wide are estimated at $818 billion but are expected to soar to $1 trillion by 2018 and to $2 trillion by 2030.

These are just some of the sobering statistics contained in the “World Alzheimer Report 2015: The Global Impact of Dementia,” released earlier this week by Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), a worldwide federation of Alzheimer associations, reports

The 88-page report, prepared by a team of authors led by Prof. Martin Prince, from King’s College London’s Global Observatory for Ageing and Dementia Care, updates data on the prevalence, incidence, cost, and trends of dementia worldwide and estimates how these numbers will increase in future.

Half of the projected increase in costs can be attributed to growth in the number of people with dementia and half to increase in per capita costs, particularly in low and middle-income countries.

Prevalence estimates in the new report differ from those in the last “World Alzheimer Report,” released in 2009, because of changes in the quality of available evidence, said the authors.

Despite interest in the possibility that age-specific prevalence of dementia may be declining in high-income countries because of public health improvements, “the evidence to support this is currently weak and inconclusive.”


There’s no doubt that dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, is one of the biggest global public health and social care challenges facing people today and in the future, says a foreword to the document written by Glenn Rees, chairman of ADI, and Stuart Fletcher, CEO, Bupa, a global health and care company providing specialist dementia care for about 60,000 people each year.

If dementia care were a country, they said, it would be the world’s 18th largest economy, more than the market values of companies such as Apple ($742 billion), Google ($368 billion), and Exxon ($357 billion).

In many parts of the world, a diagnosis of dementia can still bring with it stigma and social isolation. About 94% of people with dementia in low and middle-income countries are cared for at home. In many regions, health and care systems provide limited or no support.

Dementia should be seen as an international health priority. National dementia plans, are the first step toward ensuring all countries are equipped to enable people to live well and help to reduce the risk for dementia in years to come, the authors said.