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10 million people develop dementia each year – WHO

The number of people living with dementia is expected to triple from 50 million to 152 million by 2050, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Nearly 10 million people develop dementia each year, six million of them in low- and middle-income countries,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

Dementia is an umbrella term for several diseases that are mostly progressive; affecting memory, other cognitive abilities and behavior and interfering significantly with a person’s ability to maintain the activities of daily living.

WHO said women are more often affected than men. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia and accounts for 60 to 70 percent of cases.

“The suffering that results is enormous. This is an alarm call. We must pay greater attention to this growing challenge and ensure that all people living with dementia, wherever they live, get the care that they need,” he added.

According to WHO, the estimated annual global cost of dementia is US$ 818 billion, equivalent to more than one percent of global gross domestic product. The total cost includes direct medical costs, social care, and informal care (loss of income of carers). (Charina Clarisse L. Echaluce)

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