People with dementia: worrying forecasts from the WHO

The cases of dementia, a syndrome characterized in particular by a degradation of memory and reasoning, are on the rise in the world, and should jump by 40% by 2030, warned Thursday the World Health Organization (WHO) .

Dementia, the most common cause of which is Alzheimer’s disease, affects more than 55 million people worldwide, according to a new report from the World Health Organization. This number is expected to increase to 78 million by 2030 and to 139 million by 2050 due to the aging of the population.

Dementia, a syndrome in which there is a deterioration in the ability to perform daily activities, affects approximately 90% of those over 65 years of age. However, it is not an inevitable consequence of aging.

If there is no treatment, studies have shown that about 40% of cases could be avoided or delayed by exercising regularly, not smoking, avoiding excessive alcohol use, eating healthily, controlling weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Other risk factors also include depression, low education, social isolation and cognitive inactivity.

Yet the report reveals that only a quarter (26%) of WHO member states have a plan to fight dementia, half of which in Europe, summed up Dr Katrin Seeher of the Mental Health and Substance Use Department. psychoactive at the WHO, in a press conference.

In addition, she explained that many of these plans are about to expire or have ended.

“We need more attention from governments to develop dementia policies,” said Seeher.

However, the expert recognized that it was necessary “to be realistic and to see that dementia competes with many other public health problems”, especially in developing countries. Also, WHO encourages disadvantaged countries to integrate the problem of dementia into public health policies relating to non-communicable diseases or into old age policy strategies.

Almost 60% of people with dementia live in a low- and middle-income country. According to the report, the global costs of dementia were estimated in 2019 at $ 1.3 trillion. This number is expected to climb to 2,800 billion in 2030.

SL (with MAP)

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