New figures released by Dementia UK, based on findings in an article published by JDC, suggest that there may be a “hidden population” of 70,800 people with young onset dementia (YOD), representing a 69% increase since 2014. Previous estimates have put the number of people in the UK with YOD at 42,000.
Dementia UK derived the higher figure by analysing findings in a paper by UCL academic Janet Carter and colleagues at the Neurology and Dementia Intelligence Team (JDC May/June 2022). Carter and colleagues used a new method of identifying YOD cases to calculate that YOD accounts for 7.5% of all dementia diagnoses in England, which Dementia UK says equates to 70,800 people with YOD in the UK as a whole.
“We know that young onset dementia is poorly recognised and misdiagnosed, which leads to delays in accessing crucial support,” said Dementia UK CEO Hilda Hayo.
“Worryingly, the figure of 70,800 adults who are estimated to be living with the condition in the UK may just be the tip of the iceberg. Dementia is a huge and growing health crisis, and, with rising numbers, it is now more urgent than ever that families receive the specialist support they need.”