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Dementia incidence in high-income countries
Lucy Price on September 22, 2018 at 12:21 am
There are more people living with dementia than ever before. With no effective treatment, according to studies carried out by Alzheimer’s Research UK, 7.1% of people over the age of 65 have dementia in the UK alone.
Whilst dementia is commonly thought of as a condition of old age, Alzheimer’s Research UK also state that over 42,000 people under the age of 65 in the UK are living with dementia.
The paper, Is dementia incidence declining in high-income countries? A systematic review and meta-analysis, recently published in the Dove Medical Press journal Clinical Epidemiology, investigates the findings of recent studies that indicate a first-time decline in dementia incidence in high-income countries.
In their study, Roehr et al. systematically searched for recent studies reporting trends in dementia incidence from high-income countries and analysed the data of those of good methodological quality. They were able to include five of these studies in the meta-analysis.
Their results suggest that dementia incidence rates are stabilizing and decreasing in western high-income countries. However, the authors note that the decline reported has not reached statistical significance.
In addition, Roehr et al. discovered a potential reverse trend in some high-income countries such as Japan where an increase in dementia incidence was identified.
Roehr et al. suggest that as high-income countries generally have better healthcare systems and nutritional education and access, this may produce a healthier population, which could then explain the reported reduction in dementia incidence rates.
The authors highlight the possibility of differential trends in dementia incidence in high-income countries and call for further research in dementia incidence trends.