Global dementia cases could triple by 2050, according to a new study

New York:  According to researchers, the number of people with dementia will nearly triple to more than 152 million by 2050, owing to expected trends in smoking, obesity, and high blood sugar levels among people.

The study, led by researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine, used the expected relationship between these risk factors and dementia prevalence to forecast dementia prevalence attributable to smoking, high BMI, and high fasting plasma glucose.

They discovered a global increase of 6.8 million dementia cases between 2019 and 2050, owing specifically to changes in these risk factors.

Separately and conversely, the researchers discovered that expected changes in education levels will result in a 6.2 million decrease in dementia prevalence globally between 2019 and 2050.

The findings were presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) in Denver in 2021.

“Improvements in lifestyle in adults in developed countries and other places, such as increased access to education and greater attention to heart health issues, have reduced incidence in recent years, but total numbers with dementia continue to rise due to population ageing,” Alzheimer’s Association chief science officer Maria C. Carrillo said.

“Additionally, obesity, diabetes, and sedentary lifestyles are on the rise in younger people, and these are risk factors for dementia,” she added.

“Additionally, obesity, diabetes, and sedentary lifestyles are on the rise in younger people, and these are risk factors for dementia,” she added.

Emma Nichols, a researcher with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the varsity’s School of Medicine, and colleagues used data from the Global Burden of Disease study from 1999 to 2019 to forecast global dementia prevalence.

They discovered that approximately 10 out of every 100,000 people develop dementia with an early onset each year (prior to age 65). This equates to 350,000 new cases of early-onset dementia each year worldwide.

Dementia cases would rise from an estimated 57.4 (50.4 to 65.1) million in 2019 to an estimated 152.8 (130.8 to 175.6) million in 2050.

The eastern sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, and the Middle East are expected to see the greatest increase in prevalence.

“Without effective treatments to stop, slow, or prevent Alzheimer’s and all dementias, this number will rise beyond 2050, affecting individuals, caregivers, health systems, and governments worldwide,” Carrillo said.

“Along with therapeutics, it’s critical to find culturally tailored interventions that reduce dementia risk through lifestyle factors like education, diet, and exercise,” she said.

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