West indian countries

Dementia cases set to triple by 2050 unless countries tackle risk factors: Lancet study

The number of adults (aged 40 and over) living with dementia globally is expected to nearly triple, from around 57 million in 2019 to 153 million in 2050, due to population growth and aging. The Global Burden of Disease study is the first to provide forecast estimates for 195 countries worldwide and is published in The Lancet Public Health.

Dementia cases will rise in all countries, with the lowest estimated increases in high-income Asia-Pacific (53%) and Western Europe (74%), and the highest growth in North and Middle Africa. Orient (367%) and in the Eastern sub-region. Saharan Africa (357%). Experts predict that better access to education could lead to a reduction of 6 million cases of dementia globally by 2050.

This analysis predicts the prevalence of dementia in 195 countries and territories and examines the impact of expected trends in exposure to four important risk factors: smoking, obesity, high blood sugar and poor education.

The estimated cases of dementia in India in 2019 were 3,843,118. By 2050, the number is expected to increase by 197% to 11,422,692 cases.

“We have seen increases in all countries, and in India we estimate that the number of people with dementia will increase by 197% between 2019 and 2050. These increases are mainly due to aging and population growth, but trends in the prevalence of risk factors. for dementia, such as smoking, obesity and high blood sugar should also have an effect, ”said lead author of the study, Dr Emma Nichols of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, United States. The Indian Express by e-mail.

Dementia is currently the seventh leading cause of death in the world and one of the leading causes of disability and dependency among older people worldwide, with global costs estimated in 2019 at more than $ 1,000 billion.

Although dementia primarily affects older people, it is not an inevitable consequence of aging. A Lancet commission published in 2020 suggested that up to 40% of dementia cases could be avoided or delayed if exposure to 12 known risk factors were eliminated: low education, high blood pressure, hearing loss, smoking , midlife obesity, depression, sedentary lifestyle, diabetes, social isolation, excessive alcohol consumption, head trauma and air pollution.

“These findings should serve as a call to action for governments and policy makers, who should step up the support and services needed for the greatest number of people at risk of dementia and their caregivers in the future.” Policy makers should also invest in scaling up interventions targeting modifiable risk factors and research into potential disease-modifying drugs to stop or slow disease progression, ”said Dr Nichols.

The study predicts that the largest increase in prevalence will occur in eastern sub-Saharan Africa, where the number of people with dementia is expected to increase by 357%, from nearly 660,000 in 2019 to more than 3 million in 2050, mainly driven by population growth.

In contrast, the smallest increase is expected in the high-income Asia-Pacific region, where the number of cases is expected to increase by 53%, from 4.8 million in 2019 to 7.4 million in 2050, with a particularly strong increase. low in Japan (27%). . In this region, the risk of dementia for each age group is expected to decrease, suggesting that preventive measures, including improving education and healthy lifestyles, are having an impact.

Globally, more women than men are affected by dementia. In 2019, women with dementia outnumbered men with dementia from 100 to 69. And this trend is expected to continue in 2050. “It’s not just because women tend to live longer,” explains co-author Dr Jaimie Steinmetz of IHME, University of Washington, USA. “There is evidence for gender differences in the biological mechanisms underlying dementia. It has been suggested that Alzheimer’s disease may spread differently in the brains of women than in men, and several genetic risk factors appear to be linked to the risk of the disease depending on gender.

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