Alzheimer’s Research UK is calling for urgent investment in dementia research, following new statistics that show the condition accounted for 13% of all UK deaths last year. The figures were released by the Office for National Statistics this week.
Data for 2017 shows that in total, there were 67,641 deaths attributed to Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia – 13% of the total deaths recorded that year. This is a rise from 2016, when there were 62,948 deaths from dementia (12% of all those recorded).
Dr Matthew Norton, Director of Policy and Strategy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“These figures yet again underline the overwhelming impact of dementia for the UK, and for hundreds of thousands of families who are hit by the condition. With one in four hospital beds occupied by someone with dementia and deaths from the condition rising, we must take urgent action. As well as support for dementia research, the condition must become a priority for the NHS 10-year plan.
“Scientific advances have meant deaths from many serious diseases are now falling and by investing in dementia research, we can offer the same hope for people affected by the diseases that cause dementia, most commonly Alzheimer’s. We must make dementia research a priority if we are to bring about much-needed life-changing treatments.”
Commenting on the statistics, Paul Edwards, Director of Clinical Services at Dementia UK said.
“These figures show once again that dementia is an issue that cannot be ignored. It’s devastating, not just for those who have been diagnosed, but also for families, friends and partners as the disease strips away memories and tears relationships apart.
While there is currently no cure for dementia, we need a co-ordinated effort across society. Our Admiral Nurses are one example of this. Their dementia expertise and experience helps to link health and social care professionals with families facing some of the most crippling effects of the condition, particularly around issues with end-of-life care.
It’s high time that we see this as a national crisis. We owe this to the 850,000 people diagnosed with the condition and their families who are often struggling under intense caring responsibilities”.