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Dementia is now Britain's biggest killer statistics reveal

Statistics announced have revealed that Dementia is now Britain’s biggest killer, overtaking heart disease for the first time. In 2016, 70,366 people died from Alzheimer’s and Dementia compared to 66,076 deaths caused by heart disease. This is the first time Dementia has been responsible for the most deaths in Britain in any given year.

The new figures combine data released from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) with mortality statistics from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, giving a full picture for Britain.

This trend looks set to continue with an estimated 1.2 million living with dementia by 2040. Britain’s ageing population combined with improvements in heart health (such as medicine to control blood pressure and cholesterol) are the key factors for this trend. Around 850,000 people in Britain are currently affected by some form of dementia, with over 90,000 of these people from Scotland.

Hilary Evans, Chief Executive at Alzheimer's Research UK, said: “These startling figures emphasise the health crisis we face in the UK at the hands of dementia. Year-on-year, we are seeing more people conquer and survive serious health conditions like heart disease, but deaths from dementia continue to rise.”

“The fact that there are currently no treatments to slow or stop the diseases behind dementia brings into sharp focus the scale of the challenge and the urgency with which we must tackle it.”

“Dementia may be the biggest killer in the UK today, but research has the power to stop this from being the case in the future.”

Join us at the ‘Dealing with Dementia in Scotland Conference: Understanding best practice in policy, prevention and preparation’ as we look to explore this topic.

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