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One in three people born today could get dementia

25/09/2015 | By Freedom Health Insurance
According to Alzheimer’s Research UK and the Office of Health Economics, 32% of people born in the UK in 2015 will get dementia in their lifetime (1).

As people live longer, their risk of developing dementia will increase as well. At the moment, dementia affects 850,000 people in the UK (2).

The symptoms of dementia can include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, but also sometimes changes in mood or behaviour, due to the degeneration of brain cells. Although fairly mild at the beginning, these symptoms can become more severe affecting daily life as the illness progresses (3). Alzheimer’s disease is one of most common types of dementia and probably one of the best known by the general population (3).

There is no treatment at the moment that slows the onset or progression of dementia, although there are hints that this might be possible soon (1). Physical exercise has been shown to help reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by around 20%.

The latest analysis shows that 37% of girls born in 2015 will develop dementia in their lifetime along with 27% of boys (2).

As this is just an estimate, it is very difficult to project what will actually happen 100 years in the future, but acts as a clear warning of what the cost might be if dementia research investment is not one of our top priorities (1). 

The head of policy at Alzheimer’s Society,George McNamara, said: “Dementia is already the biggest health challenge this country faces. It costs the UK in excess of £26bn, which equates to £30,000 a person with dementia – more than the cost of either cancer or heart disease. Today’s stark finding should galvanise the government, and us all, into action.”  (2)

1. BBC News, 2015. One in three people born in the UK in 2015 could get dementia, 21 September. Available here.
2. The Guardian, 2015. One-third of British people born in 2015 ‘will develop dementia’, 21 September. Available here.
3. Alzheimer’s Society, 2015. The dementia guide: About dementia. Available here.