Currently more than 55 million people have dementia worldwide, over 60% of whom live in low-and middle-income countries. Every year, there are nearly 10 million new cases. Dementia results from a variety of diseases and injuries that affect the brain.
Alzheimer disease is the most common form of dementia and may contribute to 60–70% of cases. Dementia is currently the seventh leading cause of death and one of the major causes of disability and dependency among older people globally. In 2019, dementia cost economies globally 1.3 trillion US dollars, approximately 50% of these costs are attributable to care provided by informal carers (e.g. family members and close friends), who provide on average 5 hours of care and supervision per day.
Women are disproportionately affected by dementia, both directly and indirectly. Women experience higher disability-adjusted life years and mortality due to dementia, but also provide 70% of care hours for people living with dementia.
Dementia is a term for several diseases that affect memory, thinking, and the ability to perform daily activities. The illness gets worse over time. It mainly affects older people but not all people will get it as they age. Things that increase the risk of developing dementia include:age (more common in those 65 or older) high blood pressure (hypertension) high blood sugar (diabetes)being overweight or obese smoking, drinking too much alcohol, being physically inactive, being socially isolated and depression.
Source: World Health Organisation (WHO)