Number of over-65s with dementia in England reaches a record high

More old people in England have dementia than ever before, statistics have revealed.

A total of 453,881 over-65s were living with the brain-destroying illness in May, a rise of more than 17,000 from the same time last year.

Improved abilities to spot dementia, which is usually caused by Alzheimer’s disease, and people living longer are leading to higher rates.

Experts have called for a revolution in tackling the ‘health crisis’ which now accounts for around one in every seven deaths in England and Wales.

The number of people over the age of 65 living with dementia in England has risen from 431,786 in November 2016 to 453,881 in May this year. Experts say an ageing population and improved testing account for sharp rises in the official figures

NHS statistics released today showed the record high number of old people living with dementia after a dip in the figures last year.

The data first started being collected in 2016, when the number of over-65s diagnosed was 424,390. There has been a rise of around 29,000 in just three years.

Dementia causes people’s personalities to change, their bodies to become weaker and their memory, language and brain power to crumble.

It most commonly affects older people and can eventually kill them by causing devastating damage to nerves in the brain.

‘The rising number of dementia diagnoses demonstrates that dementia, already the leading cause of death, is not a health crisis that will go away on its own,’ said Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Helen Davies.

‘We must revolutionise the way we diagnose and treat the diseases that cause dementia to better equip the NHS to improve people’s lives.

‘We know that future dementia treatments will bring significant improvements to quality of life but will also have a major impact on our health system.

WHAT IS DEMENTIA? 

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of progressive neurological disorders, that is, conditions affecting the brain.

There are many different types of dementia, of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most common.

Some people may have a combination of types of dementia.

Regardless of which type is diagnosed, each person will experience their dementia in their own unique way.

Dementia is a global concern but it is most often seen in wealthier countries, where people are likely to live into very old age.

HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE AFFECTED?

The Alzheimer’s Society reports there are more than 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK today, of which more than 500,000 have Alzheimer’s.

It is estimated that the number of people living with dementia in the UK by 2025 will rise to over 1 million.

In the US, it’s estimated there are 5.5 million Alzheimer’s sufferers. A similar percentage rise is expected in the coming years.

As a person’s age increases, so does the risk of them developing dementia.

Rates of diagnosis are improving but many people with dementia are thought to still be undiagnosed.

IS THERE A CURE?

Currently there is no cure for dementia.

But new drugs can slow down its progression and the earlier it is spotted the more effective treatments are.

Source: Dementia UK 

‘That’s why Alzheimer’s Research UK and our Dementia Access Taskforce are working to ensure the NHS can take on new diagnostic tools and treatments as soon as possible.’

The debilitating condition is thought to cost the NHS around £26billion per year. 

In total, 470,234 people had a diagnosis by May, meaning there are 16,353 people in England living with dementia under the age of 65.

Across all ages the total number of people was a slight drop from March, when there were 79 more.

Devon has the most older people living with the brain condition – there are 11,236 over-65s living with it there.

The south-western county is followed by Derbyshire (9,446), Birmingham and Solihull (8,550), Dorset (8,340) and Bristol, North East Somerset and Gloucestershire (7,477).

Meanwhile, Bradford City has the fewest over-65s living with dementia, with just 493 – 11 times lower than Devon.

Corby, Crawley, Vale Royal and Halton in Cheshire, Swale and Ashford in Kent, Surrey Heath, and the London boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham, Barking and Dagenham, Tower Hamlets and Hackney all have fewer than 1,000 recorded cases.

As the population of England gets older because people are living longer, dementia is expected to soar to one million patients by 2025 and two million by 2051.

Alistair Burns, the NHS’s director for dementia said: ‘Spotting dementia in a timely way means people get the care they need, when they need it, so it’s good news that more people are having their condition identified and their treatment delivered.

‘As the population ages, the NHS is having to run to keep up as dementia becomes a challenge for more and more families, which is why the NHS Long Term Plan sets out a blueprint for older people’s care and makes early diagnosis and treatment for major health problems a top priority.’

HOW MANY OVER-65S ARE LIVING WITH DEMENTIA IN EACH AREA AROUND ENGLAND? (NHS Digital data accurate at May 2019)
Local NHS bodyDementia casesLocal NHSDementia cases
DEVON11,236HILLINGDON1,912
DERBY AND DERBYSHIRE9,446SOUTHEND1,890
BIRMINGHAM AND SOLIHULL8,550ST HELENS1,886
DORSET8,340OLDHAM1,858
BRISTOL, NORTH SOMERSET AND SOUTH GLOUCESTERSHIRE7,477GREATER HUDDERSFIELD1,847
CAMBRIDGESHIRE AND PETERBOROUGH6,743GUILDFORD AND WAVERLEY1,844
LEEDS6,126NORWICH1,843
COASTAL WEST SUSSEX5,994BRENT1,839
GLOUCESTERSHIRE5,973BEXLEY1,837
OXFORDSHIRE5,706SOUTH EAST STAFFORDSHIRE AND SEISDON PENINSULA1,821
SOMERSET5,506CASTLE POINT AND ROCHFORD1,819
WEST HAMPSHIRE5,411WARRINGTON1,803
SHEFFIELD5,002MANSFIELD AND ASHFIELD1,802
HERTS VALLEYS4,914WANDSWORTH1,783
NENE4,844HEREFORDSHIRE1,779
KERNOW4,724BLACKPOOL1,770
WILTSHIRE4,629ISLE OF WIGHT1,764
EAST AND NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE4,566NORTH EAST HAMPSHIRE AND FARNHAM1,753
BUCKINGHAMSHIRE4,409WEST NORFOLK1,748
NEWCASTLE GATESHEAD4,199AIREDALE, WHARFEDALE AND CRAVEN1,731
IPSWICH AND EAST SUFFOLK3,970HARROW1,712
WEST KENT3,746BATH AND NORTH EAST SOMERSET1,695
MORECAMBE BAY3,624DARTFORD, GRAVESHAM AND SWANLEY1,685
SHROPSHIRE3,559SOUTHPORT AND FORMBY1,681
BERKSHIRE WEST3,528BURY1,680
WEST LEICESTERSHIRE3,337REDBRIDGE1,665
NORTHUMBERLAND3,291NORTH HAMPSHIRE1,635
LIVERPOOL3,268HIGH WEALD LEWES HAVENS1,620
EAST LEICESTERSHIRE AND RUTLAND3,222MILTON KEYNES1,618
EAST RIDING OF YORKSHIRE3,210CHORLEY AND SOUTH RIBBLE1,600
NORTH EAST ESSEX3,202SOUTH CHESHIRE1,597
BEDFORDSHIRE3,166SOUTH LINCOLNSHIRE1,590
COVENTRY AND RUGBY3,154MEDWAY1,568
NORTH CUMBRIA3,125SOUTHAMPTON1,559
WIRRAL3,079CALDERDALE1,555
BROMLEY3,026LAMBETH1,552
MID ESSEX3,021GREATER PRESTON1,527
MANCHESTER2,947HEYWOOD, MIDDLETON AND ROCHDALE1,519
NORTH WEST SURREY2,942LEWISHAM1,507
EAST LANCASHIRE2,937HOUNSLOW1,488
SURREY DOWNS2,903NORTH EAST LINCOLNSHIRE1,478
DURHAM DALES, EASINGTON AND SEDGEFIELD2,898PORTSMOUTH1,462
BARNET2,896EAST SURREY1,462
SANDWELL AND WEST BIRMINGHAM2,881SOUTH TYNESIDE1,445
HARTLEPOOL AND STOCKTON-ON-TEES2,810CAMDEN1,440
STOCKPORT2,805NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE1,415
EAST BERKSHIRE2,800REDDITCH AND BROMSGROVE1,400
STOKE ON TRENT2,739HAMBLETON, RICHMONDSHIRE AND WHITBY1,399
DUDLEY2,729WARWICKSHIRE NORTH1,398
WAKEFIELD2,712SWINDON1,380
DONCASTER2,709RICHMOND1,363
WEST ESSEX2,684WALTHAM FOREST1,361
LINCOLNSHIRE EAST2,637SUTTON1,327
WIGAN BOROUGH2,636RUSHCLIFFE1,325
ROTHERHAM2,625STAFFORD AND SURROUNDS1,307
VALE OF YORK2,623NOTTINGHAM NORTH AND EAST1,304
BRADFORD DISTRICTS2,558WEST LONDON1,292
LEICESTER CITY2,551THANET1,292
EASTBOURNE, HAILSHAM AND SEAFORD2,544NORTH KIRKLEES1,291
SOUTH WORCESTERSHIRE2,532MERTON1,289
SOUTH WARWICKSHIRE2,470HARINGEY1,287
SOUTH TEES2,423BASSETLAW1,262
SOUTH EASTERN HAMPSHIRE2,385SOUTH SEFTON1,241
CROYDON2,366SOUTHWARK1,228
SUNDERLAND2,352NEWARK & SHERWOOD1,223
HORSHAM AND MID SUSSEX2,351TELFORD AND WREKIN1,216
BOLTON2,334CANNOCK CHASE1,213
GREAT YARMOUTH AND WAVENEY2,332ISLINGTON1,181
SOUTH NORFOLK2,330LUTON1,172
HAVERING2,309GREENWICH1,161
WEST SUFFOLK2,307BLACKBURN WITH DARWEN1,148
EALING2,298KINGSTON1,143
NORTH STAFFORDSHIRE2,293KNOWSLEY1,139
FYLDE & WYRE2,274NOTTINGHAM WEST1,136
NOTTINGHAM CITY2,233SCARBOROUGH AND RYEDALE1,126
WOLVERHAMPTON2,220WEST LANCASHIRE1,091
HASTINGS AND ROTHER2,220SOUTH WEST LINCOLNSHIRE1,090
NORTH NORFOLK2,209EAST STAFFORDSHIRE1,079
HULL2,182NEWHAM1,059
EASTERN CHESHIRE2,163DARLINGTON1,054
WALSALL2,147CENTRAL LONDON (WESTMINSTER)1,046
WEST CHESHIRE2,145THURROCK1,046
BASILDON AND BRENTWOOD2,137WYRE FOREST1,035
ENFIELD2,130CITY AND HACKNEY948
TAMESIDE AND GLOSSOP2,097HALTON943
NORTH DURHAM2,089TOWER HAMLETS932
BARNSLEY2,086ASHFORD903
CANTERBURY AND COASTAL2,061SURREY HEATH856
LINCOLNSHIRE WEST2,045HAMMERSMITH AND FULHAM850
TRAFFORD1,959SWALE829
SALFORD1,946VALE ROYAL822
BRIGHTON AND HOVE1,944CRAWLEY807
NORTH TYNESIDE1,941BARKING AND DAGENHAM759
FAREHAM AND GOSPORT1,923CORBY589
HARROGATE AND RURAL DISTRICT1,922BRADFORD CITY493
SOUTH KENT COAST1,918Source: NHS Digital

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