Rates of dementia in UK older population levelling off

Published: 04/09/2015

A University of Cambridge study has shown that the proportion of people in the UK with dementia has fallen – a previous study had predicted that the rates of dementia would increase dramatically. The report analysed dementia studies that followed the same procedure but were conducted decades apart. In all there were five studies that the report drew on covering not only the UK but also the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden and the periods of these studies ranged from just under 20 years to almost 30.

The results of this analysis showed that rates of dementia had stabilised at worst and amongst Spanish men and people in the UK the proportion of sufferers had fallen. Specifically, in the UK the data from 1991 suggested that 8% of over 65s would have dementia in 2011, however the proportion of those with the condition by that time was in fact only 6%. Experts commenting on these findings have suggested that whilst it’s unlikely that dementia will be entirely preventable these findings at least give hope that the condition could be deferred.

Lee Baker, Head of Care Home Fees comments:

“Whilst this study will be reassuring to many people who have been fearful of developing dementia there will still be older people who do develop the condition. Indeed developing dementia is often associated with other conditions of ageing, including strokes and diabetes.

“Anyone developing dementia or other conditions such as Alzheimer’s, strokes, heart attacks or diabetes who needs nursing care could have that residential care funded by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). That’s because all these conditions are classified as a primary health need and anyone who needs nursing care due to a primary health need should qualify for CCG funding.”

Content correct at time of publication

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