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Sep 21, 2021

Know Dementia, know Alzheimer's, know the 55 million

Know Dementia, know Alzheimer's, know the 55 million September 21 is observed as World Alzheimer's Day every year to promote global awareness about Alzheimer's and other dementia diseases. This year, the theme for the campaign is Know Dementia, Know Alzheimer's.

By Pushpita Dey · Sep 21, 2021

Over 55.2 million people have dementia worldwide, with Alzheimer’s disease being the most common form. Alzheimer’s disease may contribute to 60-70 per cent of the total cases of dementia, reported World Health Organization.

A World Health Organisation report suggests Alzheimer’s disease may contribute to 60-70 per cent of these dementia cases. Estimates also suggest that globally nearly 9.9 million people develop dementia each year; a new case every three seconds.

Kruxd. works the numbers behind this neurological ailment.

Seventh major cause of global deaths 

With nearly 1.6 million deaths, Alzheimer's disease and other dementia form are the 7th leading cause of global death. In fact, the five year period from 2015 to 2019 saw fatalities rise by more than 16 per cent. 

Global prevalence as well as new incidences have also seen a significant increase - by as much as 15 per cent - in the same period.

Lower numbers, but a sharper rise in deaths among men


WHO’s Global Dementia Observatory notes that 65 per cent of dementia deaths have happened among women - deaths among women being nearly double that among men. 

However, despite a lower number, the rise in the number of deaths among men has been slightly sharper - by 17.4 per cent - from 475,346 to 559,228. In contrast, the rise among women has been 15.6 per cent - from 920,354 to 1,064,047.

Low and middle-income countries are the worst hit 

In 2015, an estimated $818 billion, equivalent to 1.1 per cent of global Gross Domestic Product, was spent globally towards awareness campaigns and care enhancement towards dementia. However, only 0.2 per cent of the 8.8 billion was in the low- and middle-income countries, even as about 71 per cent of new cases occur in these countries.

It is also estimated that the cost of caring for people with dementia worldwide will rise to $2 trillion by 2030.

While the number of incidences in high-income countries has increased by 11 per cent, there is a rise of nearly 14.5 per cent in low and middle-income countries between 2015 and 2019. Deaths, too, have risen in the low- and middle-income countries at almost double the rate, as compared to high-income countries.

Towards a better future 

The Global Action Plan proposed by WHO aims to make all countries more compatible for individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s and other dementia diseases.

As per the plan, 75 per cent of countries are to develop or update their national policies, strategies, plans or frameworks for dementia. Additionally, 50 per cent of the countries are to have at least one dementia-friendly initiative by 2025, to foster inclusivity.

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