| 28 May 2024, Tuesday |

WHO concerned about increasing incidence of dementia worldwide

The World Health Organization has voiced worry about the rise in dementia cases throughout the world, a sickness marked by impairment in memory and reasoning, and has warned that few nations have a strategy in place to address the problem.

According to a new research released by the World Health Organization, more than 55 million individuals worldwide suffer from dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease being the most frequent cause. Due to population aging, he predicted that this number would grow to 78 million by 2030 and 139 million by 2050.

Although dementia, which leads to a decline in the ability to perform daily tasks, affects 90% of cases over the age of sixty-five, it is not considered an inevitable consequence of aging.

Although there is no cure for dementia, studies have shown that about 40% of cases can be avoided or delayed by exercising regularly, refraining from smoking, avoiding excessive alcohol consumption, following a healthy diet, maintaining an appropriate weight, and controlling blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Other risk factors include depression, poor science, social isolation, and cognitive inactivity.

However, only a quarter of the world’s countries (26 percent) have “a national policy, strategy or plan to support people with dementia and their families,” according to the report, and half of these countries are located in Europe, noted Dr. Catherine Seher of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Use in organization during a press conference.

She noted that “the period covered by many of these plans is about to expire or has already expired”, even in Europe.

Seher stressed “the need for greater attention from governments in order to develop policies to combat dementia.”

However, the expert called for “being realistic and acknowledging that dementia competes with many other public health problems”, especially in developing countries.

The World Health Organization has urged low- and middle-income countries to include dementia in public health policies related to non-communicable diseases or in policy strategies related to ageing.

About 60% of people with dementia live in low- and middle-income countries. The report stated that estimates indicate that the global cost of dementia reached $1,300 billion in 2019. The cost is expected to rise to $2,800 billion in 2030.


  • Reuters