News Release

Global Cost Of Dementia Set To Reach US$1 Trillion By 2018

London, 25 August 2015

World Alzheimer Report 2015 estimates that someone in the world develops dementia every 3 seconds

The World Alzheimer Report 2015: 'The Global Impact of Dementia: An analysis of prevalence, incidence, cost and trends’, released today, has found that there are currently around 46.8 million people living with dementia around the world, with numbers projected to nearly double every 20 years, increasing to 74.7 million by 2030 and 131.5 million by 2050. There are over 9.9 million new cases of dementia each year worldwide, implying one new case every 3.2 seconds.

The report shows that the current annual societal and economic cost of dementia is US $818 billion, and it is expected to become a trillion dollar disease in just three years’ time. The findings show that the cost of dementia has increased by 35% since the 2010 World Alzheimer Report estimate of US $604 billion. This means that if global dementia care were a country, it would be the 18th largest economy in the world, and would exceed the market values of companies such as Apple (US $742 billion) and Google (US $368 billion)*.

The report updates Alzheimer’s Disease International’s (ADI) data on dementia’s global prevalence, incidence and cost, highlighting dementia’s increasing impact on low and middle income countries (LMICs). It is estimated that 58% of all people living with dementia today reside in LMICs, a proportion that is anticipated to rise to 68% by 2050, driven mainly by population growth and an ageing global population. It is also expected that by 2050, nearly half of all people with dementia globally will live in Asia.  

The updated estimates are based on new research led by Professor Martin Prince from King’s College London’s Global Observatory for Ageing and Dementia Care**. These new findings take into account both the growing numbers of older people (population ageing), and new and better evidence on the number of people living with dementia, and costs incurred.

Professor Martin Prince notes: “We now believe that we underestimated the current and future scale of the epidemic by 12-13% in the 2009 World Alzheimer Report, with costs growing more rapidly than the numbers of people affected.”

In light of the findings, the report calls for a specific global work stream from all stakeholders focused on assisting LMICs to develop programmes to raise awareness and improve access to early diagnosis and care. ADI is urging policy makers around the world to approach the issue with a broader agenda and a wider representation of countries and regions, particularly those in the G20 group of nations. A key recommendation of the report calls for a significant upscaling of research investment into care, treatment, prevention and cure.

Marc Wortmann, Executive Director of ADI, commented: “The rising global cost of dementia will pose serious challenges to health and social care systems all around the world. These findings demonstrate the urgent need for governments to implement policies and legislation to provide a better quality of life for people living with dementia, both now and in the future.”

Glenn Rees, Chair of ADI, outlines ADI’s urgent priorities: “We must use the findings of this report to advocate for action in international forums to fight back against the stigma of dementia and encourage the growth of dementia-friendly communities and countries. This action should include timely diagnosis and post-diagnostic support and improved access to support and care, especially in low and middle income countries.”

Professor Graham Stokes, Global Director of Dementia Care at Bupa, supporters of the report, added: “The findings also highlight that the workplace is a unique place to tackle dementia. With almost half of the world’s population in employment*** and people staying in work for longer than ever before, employers have a responsibility to act as they have the potential to make a huge difference. They can support people living with dementia and their carers, and also encourage healthy lifestyle changes which may reduce the risk of dementia.”

The report will be launched with a live web TV show to be broadcast via LinkedIn [http://linkedin.studiotalk.tv/show/world-alzheimer-report-2015] at 13:00 (BST) on Tuesday 25 August. It will be a roundtable discussion featuring Marc Wortmann, Professor Martin Prince and Professor Graham Stokes. In conjunction with the launch, a brand new website [www.worldalzreport2015.org] will also go live, featuring key figures from the report, downloads and a ‘Call to Action’ section, stating how different sections of society can take action to help support people living with dementia.

 

*source: Forbes 2015 ranking
**The King’s College London Global Observatory works in collaboration with researchers from other universities.  Economic costs were estimated by Professor Anders Wimo from the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, and the searches of Chinese language databases were led by Dr Yu-Tzu Wu from the University of Cambridge.
*** World Bank data: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SL.EMP.TOTL.SP.ZS/countries?display=graph

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Notes to Editors

The full report can be found here: www.worldalzreport2015.org

The World Alzheimer Report 2015 was independently researched by King’s College London and was supported by Bupa.

About Alzheimer’s Disease International

ADI is the international federation of 83 Alzheimer associations around the world, in official relations with the World Health Organization. ADI's vision is an improved quality of life for people with dementia and their families throughout the world. ADI believes that the key to winning the fight against dementia lies in a unique combination of global solutions and local knowledge. As such, it works locally, by empowering Alzheimer associations to promote and offer care and support for people with dementia and their carers, while working globally to focus attention on dementia and campaign for policy change from governments. For more information, visit www.alz.co.uk.

About Kings College London

King's College London is one of the top 20 universities in the world (2014/15 QS World University Rankings) and among the oldest in England. King's has nearly 26,500 students (of whom more than 10,400 are graduate students) from some 150 countries worldwide, and more than 6,900 staff. The College is in the second phase of a £1 billion redevelopment programme which is transforming its estate. King's has an outstanding reputation for providing world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) King’s was ranked 6th nationally in the ‘power’ ranking, which takes into account both the quality and quantity of research activity. Eighty-four per cent of research at King’s was deemed ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (3* and 4*). The university is in the top seven UK universities for research earnings and has an overall annual income of more than £600 million.

About Bupa

Bupa’s purpose is longer, healthier, happier lives. As a leading global health and care company, we offer health insurance, medical subscription and other health and care funding products; we run care homes, retirement and care villages, primary care, diagnostic and wellness centres, hospitals and dental clinics. We also provide workplace health services, home healthcare, health assessments and long-term condition management services.We have 29m customers in 190 countries. With no shareholders, we reinvest our profits to provide more and better healthcare and fulfil our purpose. We employ almost 80,000 people, principally in the UK, Australia, Spain, Poland, New Zealand and Chile, as well as Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, India, Thailand and the USA. For more information, visit www.bupa.com.