Experts predict that the number of dementia cases worldwide will triple to 152.8 million by 2050 due to a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet
- Global cases of dementia are expected to triple in the next 30 years from 152.8 million in 2019 to 57.4 million in 2015, a new study shows
- Researchers say this will be due to a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet, both risk factors for dementia
- Areas such as North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East are expected to be hardest hit
- The death rate from Alzheimer’s disease, the primary cause of dementia, has also increased by nearly 40%
- Rural areas in the United States are expected to be hit harder than urban areas
The number of dementia cases around the world could triple in the next three decades, a new study finds.
Researchers from the University of Washington examined global health data from 1999 and 2019 for the study and projected the future of dementia using health trends.
They found that the number of dementia cases is expected to reach 152.8 million by 2050, compared to just 57.4 million in 2019, a 166 percent increase.
An aging population and the growth of problems such as obesity and high blood sugar can all contribute to high rates of dementia.
Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East are the areas expected to see the greatest increase.
Cases of dementia worldwide are expected to increase by 166% over the next 30 years to 152.8 million (file image)
“These estimates will enable policy makers and decision-makers to better understand the projected increase in the number of people living with dementia and the drivers of this increase in a given geographic setting,” said Emma Nichols, a researcher at the University of Washington.
‘The large expected increase in the number of people living with dementia highlights the vital need for research aimed at discovering disease-modifying treatments and effective low-cost interventions for the prevention or delay of the onset of dementia.’
Nichols and her team, who published their findings Tuesday in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, found that smoking, a high body mass index and high fasting plasma glucose are the main risk factors responsible for growth. in dementia.
However, not all factors will increase the rate of cognitive decline.
Due to an overall higher education rate around the world, the researchers believe that at least six million people who would have dementia would otherwise not develop the condition.
But the factors that lead to dementia can be deadlier.
Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia.
The death rate from the disease – for which there is no cure yet – increased by 38 percent between 1999 and 2019.
“Without effective treatments to stop, delay or prevent Alzheimer’s disease and all forms of dementia, this number will grow beyond 2050 and have a lasting impact on individuals, caregivers, health systems and governments worldwide,” said Dr Maria Carrillo , chief science officer of the Alzheimer’s Association.
‘In addition to therapies, it is critical to discover culturally tailored interventions that reduce dementia risk through lifestyle factors such as education, diet and exercise.’
In the United States, rural areas in the South are expected to be hardest hit by the rise of dementia.
Researchers found that the death rate from Alzheimer’s disease in rural areas was three times higher than in urban areas.
The gap between rural and urban health care and mortality from chronic conditions is widening, according to other research.
‘Our work shows that there is an increasing discrepancy in Alzheimer’s mortality between urban and rural areas.’ dr. Ambar Kulshreshtha, a researcher from Emory University School of Medicine, said.
“This discrepancy may be related to, or a result of, other urban-rural health disparities, including access to primary care and other health services, socioeconomic level, time to diagnosis and the increasing number of older Americans living in these areas.
“Identifying and understanding the reasons for these health disparities is critical to properly allocating important social and public health resources.”