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Alzheimer’s Group Warns of Dementia Epidemic

Worldwide, more than 130 million people will be affected by 2050 (December 5)

Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), based in London, reports a 17% increase in the number of people living with dementia compared with ADI estimates in 2009.

According to an ADI policy brief, the number of people living with dementia worldwide in 2013 is estimated at 44 million and is expected to reach 76 million in 2030 and 135 million by 2050.

The report also predicts a shift in the distribution of the global burden of dementia. Whereas high-income countries have witnessed the strongest visible trends in the past, low- and middle-income countries will now feel the heaviest burden. By 2050, 71% of people with dementia will live in low- and middle-income countries, the ADI says.

The briefing was released ahead of the first G8 Dementia Summit, which will take place Dec. 11 in London. The summit will aim to identify a new international approach to dementia research and policy.

According to the ADI, the absence of dementia public policy renders governments woefully unprepared for the dementia epidemic, and there is an urgent need for a collaborative, global action plan for governments, industry, and nonprofit organizations, such as Alzheimer associations.

The report states that research must become a global priority if improvements are to be made to the quality and coverage of care. Moreover, priority should be given equally to policymaking, health and social care services, and health system development.

Source: ADI; December 5, 2013.

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