The number of people living with dementia is expected to double to 65.7 million by 2030 and more than triple by 2050, with "the [current estimated] cost of treating and caring for those with the condition at $604 billion a year," according to a report released Wednesday by the WHO and Alzheimer's Disease International, Agence France-Presse reports (4/11). "Dementia affects people in all countries, with more than half (58 percent) living in low- and middle-income countries," and "[b]y 2050, this is likely to rise to more than 70 percent," according to a WHO press release.
"Dementia is a syndrome that can be caused by a number of progressive disorders that affect memory, thinking, behavior and the ability to perform everyday activities," the press release states, adding, "Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia" (4/11). The report aims "to raise awareness of dementia as a public health priority, to articulate a public health approach and to advocate for action at international and national levels," according to a summary on the report's webpage (4/11). In addition, "[t]he report recommends better support for caregivers, who are usually relatives of those with dementia," the Associated Press writes (4/11).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.