Dementia cases may triple by 2050, study finds

Worldwide, nearly 153 million people may have dementia by 2050, up from 57.4 million in 2019, according to projections published Jan. 6 in The Lancet Public Health.

Overall, the estimates show more women than men were living with dementia globally in 2019, and that pattern is expected to continue to 2050, researchers said. The Asia Pacific region and Western Europe are projected to see the smallest increases at 53 percent and 74 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, North Africa and the Middle East and eastern sub-Saharan Africa are projected to see the largest increases at 367 percent and 357 percent, respectively. 

"Most of the projected increase in the numbers of people living with dementia can be attributed to population aging and population growth," researchers said. They suggested interventions to reduce the projected increases should target risk factors for dementia, such as obesity, high blood sugar and hypertension. 

 "Given the current absence of available effective disease-modifying treatments for dementia, immediate efforts to reduce these projected increases will need to target disease prevention through interventions for modifiable risk factors." 

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