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Dementia likely to double every 20 years world-wide, developing countries to be worst hit

D.N.I.S. News Network- Sixty per cent of people with dementia live in developing countries and the figure is expected to rise to 71 per cent by the year 2040, says a recent global study.

The numbers in developed countries are set to increase by 100 per cent between 2001 and 2040, according to a report by Alzheimer's Disease International (A.D.I.). In India, China and their south Asian and western Pacific neighbours, the rates will rise by more than 300 per cent during this period.

The study estimates that 24.3 million people across the world have dementia, with 4.6 million new cases being diagnosed each year. By 2040 the number is predicted to rise to 81.1 million. The report said most people living with dementia are in the developing world, with five million in China alone.

The study also highlights how the rate of growth of dementia in the developing world already far exceeds that of richer countries. The increase is predicted to be three to four times higher in developing regions than in developed areas.

The study, by Professor Martin Prince and other researchers, found a new case of dementia arising every seven seconds. It says that dementia must be taken seriously as a worldwide health problem and highlighted how the rate of growth of this mental disorder in the developing world far exceeds that of richer countries.

"There is already a great need for community-based services, welfare and support, and these new figures show that pressure on governments for dementia services will increase dramatically in the next few years," they said.

The report concludes that there is a fundamental lack of awareness among policymakers, clinicians and the public.