New data suggests that global cases of dementia will rise from 57 million to 152 million by the time we reach 2050.
American researchers from the Alzheimer’s Association concluded that dementia cases will rise due to growing populations and aging nations.
Smoking, high BMIs and rising blood sugars are also expected to increase global dementia cases by nearly seven million.
However, forecasts have also revealed that more education around the condition will reduce possible cases by 6.2 million.
Top academic, Dr Maria C. Carrillo said: “Improvements in lifestyle in adults in developed countries and other places, including increasing access to education and greater attention to heart health issues, have reduced incidence in recent years, but total numbers with dementia are still going up because of the aging of the population.
“In addition, obesity, diabetes and sedentary lifestyles in younger people are rising quickly, and these are risk factors for dementia.”
In 2050, the U.S National Institute on Ageing has predicted that adults older than 65 will make up 16% of the population, rising by 8% in 40 years.
Eastern sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East are among the countries predicted to see the biggest rise in dementia cases in 30 years.
Lead researcher, Dr Emma Nichols said: “These estimates will allow policymakers and decision makers to better understand the expected increases in the number of individuals with dementia as well as the drivers of these increases in a given geographical setting.
“The large anticipated increase in the number of individuals with dementia emphasizes the vital need for research focused on the discovery of disease-modifying treatments and effective low-cost interventions for the prevention or delay of dementia onset.”
Dr Carrillo said: “Without effective treatments to stop, slow or prevent Alzheimer’s and all dementia, this number will grow beyond 2050 and continue to impact individuals, caregivers, health systems and governments globally.
“In addition to therapeutics, it’s critical to uncover culturally-tailored interventions that reduce dementia risk through lifestyle factors like education, diet and exercise.”
Between 1990 and 2019, Alzheimer related deaths increased by 30%.
The full set of results can now be accessed in the Alzheimer’s Association journal called ‘Alzheimer’s & Dementia’.