Dementia cases are expected to increase 300% by 2050, says a new study

Dementia cases are expected to increase 300% by 2050, says a new study
According to a new study, the number of adults living with dementia worldwide is expected to triple to 153 million by 2050.

Researchers suggest that growth is driven mainly by population growth and aging. However, they also point out four risk factors for dementia: smoking, obesity, high blood sugar and low education, causes of which are on the rise.

Dementia is currently the seventh leading cause of death worldwide and one of the leading causes of disability and dependency in the elderly globally.

What will growth be like in Europe?
Dementia cases will increase in every country, but most of Europe is said to have smaller increases compared to other parts of the world, but nonetheless significant.

According to the study the largest increase will be in North Africa and the Middle East with 367%, followed by Sub-Saharan Africa with 357%.

Western Europe is expected to see a 74% increase, from almost 8 million dementia cases in 2019 to almost 14 million in 2050.

Central Europe is projected to see an 82% increase from nearly 2 million to around 3.6 million, while Eastern Europe is expected to see a 92% increase from 2.9 million to over 5.5 million cases.

How to prevent?
"We need to reduce exposure to key risk factors in each country," said Emma Nichols of the Institute for Metrics and Health Assessment (IHME) at the University of Washington.

"For most, this means escalating appropriate, low-cost programs locally that support healthier diets, more exercise, smoking cessation and increased access to education. And it also means continuing to invest in research to identify effective treatments to stop, slow down or prevent dementia, ”she said.

Is dementia inevitable?
Although dementia mainly affects older people, it is not an inevitable consequence of aging.

A Lancet Commission report published in 2020 suggested that up to 40% of dementia cases could be prevented or delayed if exposure to 12 known risk factors was eliminated: low education, high blood pressure, hearing impairment, smoking, middle-aged obesity, depression, physical, inactivity, diabetes, social isolation, excessive alcohol consumption, head injury, and air pollution.