Numbers of people with dementia worldwide are forecast to rise nearly threefold by 2050, a new analysis suggests. According to research published in Lancet Public Health, numbers will increase from an estimated 57.4 million in 2019 to 152.8 million in 2050.
The current pattern of more women than men with dementia looks set to continue and the largest increases are expected in lower income countries in North Africa, the Middle East and eastern and sub-Saharan Africa. Dementia prevalence is also expected to go up in the Asia-Pacific region and western Europe, but less so, with increases of 53% and 74% respectively.
While improvements in education globally are predicted to reduce dementia prevalence by 6.2 million, this is more than counteracted by an additional 6.8 million people living with dementia as a result of obesity, smoking and high blood sugar, the study by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation said.
“This data highlights the severity of the public health crisis of dementia and the alarming consequences of inaction,” said Alzheimer’s Disease International CEO Paola Barbarino. “Too many people still do not know that they can change their lifestyle and make a difference.”