Dementia was the greatest cause of death for women in 2020 according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
The study revealed that 45,922 women in England and Wales died from dementia, surpassing the number that died fromCovid.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease killed more than 24,000 men according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) making it the third most common cause of male death, after Covid-19 and heart disease.
The dementia death total for women has led charities to reiterate the urgent need for a global effort matching that of the drive to find Covid-19 vaccines.
Currently dementia affects 850,000 people in the United Kingdom.
Hilary Evans, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK has called dementia “our greatest long-term medical challenge”.
“With the number of people with dementia set to triple, we need to see concerted global action now.
“To safeguard progress and improve outcomes around the world, it’s vital our government invests to maintain the UK as a global hub for dementia research to safeguard research progress and improve outcomes around the world”.
In 2020, the top five causes of death were:
- COVID-19 (12.1% of all deaths)
- Dementia and Alzheimer’s (11.5% of all deaths)
- Ischaemic heart disease (9.2% of all deaths)
- Cerebrovascular disease (4.9% of all deaths)
- Lung-based cancers (4.7% of all deaths).
For deaths with a primary cause attributed to dementia, the 2020 figure shows a decrease in percentage from 12.5% in 2019 and 12.8% in 2018. This reduction has likely been impacted by coronavirus-related dementia deaths and a decreased diagnosis rate.