World Health Organization report on dementia 2012
Landmark data from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) in their report Dementia: A Public Health Priority show that around the world a new case of dementia occurs every four seconds. That is the equivalent of 7.7 million new cases each year. In the words of global health expert Dr. Peter Piot, dementia is a ‘ticking time bomb.’
The report challenges world governments to replicate some of the solutions and approaches already adopted by countries to tackle the skyrocketing numbers of dementia affecting 35.6 million people worldwide.
To date, seven countries have created national Alzheimer’s plans: Australia, Denmark, France, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom (within the UK, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland each have plans). In India and other countries, plans developed by “civil society” may shortly become government-endorsed. The United States is currently developing a plan.
FAQ’s about the WHO report
Why not Canada?
The Alzheimer Society is urging Canada to get on the world map and develop its own plan. In 2010, we sounded the alarm with our own seminal report, Rising Tide: The Impact of Dementia on Canadian Society. That report highlighted the rapidly increasing prevalence of dementia that will affect 1.1 million Canadians in less than 25 years, and the rising economic costs that are expected to increase tenfold to $153 billion a year.
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Key statistics from the WHO report include:
- The number of people living with dementia worldwide is currently estimated at 35.6 million. This number will double by 2030 and more than triple by 2050.
- Between 2% and 10% of all cases of dementia start before the age of 65. The prevalence doubles with every five-year increment in age after 65.
- The total estimated worldwide costs of dementia were US$ 604 billion in 2010. In high-income countries, informal care (45%) and formal social care (40%) account for the majority of costs, while the proportionate contribution of direct medical costs (15%) is much lower.
- Dementia is one of the major causes of disability in later life. It accounts for 11.9% of the years lived with disability due to a noncommunicable disease. It is the leading cause of dependency (i.e. need for care) and disability among older people.
Last Updated: 09/27/12