Nearly 153 million adults worldwide will have dementia by 2050, study finds


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The number of adults with dementia globally could increase from around 57.4 million in 2019 to 152.8 million by 2050, due to factors such as midlife obesity, smoking and social isolation, according to a study published Thursday by the Lancet.


While improved education is expected to reduce dementia cases by 6.2 million by 2050, researchers said this would be countered by trends in obesity, high blood sugar and smoking, which are expected to cause 6.8 million additional cases, Guardian reported.

Risk factors for dementia also include hypertension, depression, physical inactivity, diabetes, excessive alcohol consumption, head injuries, exposure to air pollution, and low blood levels. education, the researchers said.

The rate of dementia is expected to increase in all countries, ranging from an increase of 1,926% in Qatar to an increase of 27% in Japan, while cases of dementia in the United States are expected to increase by around 99.67% .

Researchers have estimated that the prevalence of dementia will increase by around 117% by 2050 due to the growth of the elderly population alone, a factor that is expected to have the most severe impact in East Asia.

Globally, there will be 83.2 million adults with dementia in 2030 and 116 million in 2040, the researchers estimated.

To reduce the risk of dementia, policymakers should support low-cost programs that promote exercise, healthy eating and smoking cessation, said lead author Emma Nichols, researcher at the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. Guardian.

Key context

Dementia is a syndrome, usually progressive, that damages memory and other thought functions beyond what is usually expected of aging. Although dementia can result from Alzheimer’s disease or a stroke, it’s not an inevitable consequence of aging, the World Health Organization has said. A 2020 study published by the Lancet suggested that a low level of education could be a risk factor for dementia, as better health education helps reduce the risk of head trauma or heavy drinking.

Large number

$ 818 billion. This is the annual global cost of treating dementia, estimated by the WHO in 2017.


Researchers are exploring vaccines or treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, the disease that causes 60 to 70% of all cases of dementia, according to WHO estimates. In November, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston began the first trials of a nasal spray that could become the first vaccine against Alzheimer’s disease. The Food and Drug Administration has also ramped up trials of Biogen and Esai’s lecanemab, a therapy that could treat early forms of the disease, Reuters reported.


Actress Rita Hayworth, actor James Stewart, former President Ronald Reagan and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher are famous personalities who have been diagnosed with dementia.

Further reading

“The number of adults with dementia will exceed 150m by 2050, according to a study” (Tutor)


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