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A new study from the University College London (UCL) warns that the number of people living with dementia may be over 40 percent higher by 2040 compared to previous estimates. The study suggests that in the United Kingdom alone, around 1.7 million individuals could be affected by dementia by 2040, making the prevalence of the disease 42 percent higher than previous predictions.

Dementia cases to rise 57% by 2040

Recent research challenges the prior belief that dementia cases in affluent nations were declining before 2010. Instead, the latest findings reveal a significant increase in dementia cases in the U.K. since 2008, with a particular impact on individuals who performed poorly academically in school.

Scientists predict a significant increase, potentially doubling the number of cases by 2040, surpassing previous estimates that projected a 57% increase. This increase is not solely due to an aging population but may have other contributing factors.

Dr. Yuntao Chen, the lead author from the UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care said that the number of people living with dementia in 2040 could be 70% higher than expected if the current decline in dementia incidence does not continue. The researcher emphasizes the potential impact on individuals’ lives and the increased burden on health and social care services. It underscores the importance of ongoing monitoring to inform social care policy.

Dementia cases on the rise among older age group

Dementia cases are rising, and experts believe it’s becoming a more significant issue within older age groups, even beyond the impact of an aging population. Principal investigator Professor Eric Brunner emphasizes the need for urgent policy attention to address this trend and ensure that people affected by dementia can access necessary help and support in the UK.

James White, Head of National Influencing at the Alzheimer’s Society, asserts that dementia is a significant and ongoing health and social care challenge that needs immediate action to address the individual and economic impact of dementia, which is continually growing as per findings in a study published in Lancet Public Health study.