Dementia remains our greatest long-term health challenge, says Alzheimer’s Research UK – as new figures reveal the condition was the second most common cause of death in England last month.
The Office for National Statistics has revealed that of the 55,489 recorded deaths in England in February 2021, the second-most common cause was dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, with 4,841 people dying from the condition. The leading cause of death was COVID-19, with 11,421 people dying from the virus.
Almost one million people in the UK are living with dementia today, yet there are no treatments to slow, stop or prevent the diseases, most commonly Alzheimer’s, that cause it.
Alzheimer’s Research UK is calling on government to deliver on its promise to double funding for dementia research to over £160 million a year, to help in the search for a cure.
Susan Mitchell, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“Today’s figures highlight the ongoing threat dementia poses to our society and puts a spotlight on the desperate need to find life-changing treatments. Even in midst of the current pandemic, it is clear dementia remains our greatest long term health challenge. We must take action now by investing in research to save people from the heartbreak dementia causes.
“Through the development of the COVID-19 vaccines, we’ve seen the incredible progress that can be made in medical research with the right investment and attention. Tragically, we do not yet have a treatment that can slow, stop or prevent dementia. While we’ve been making progress in dementia research, that is now at risk due to the pandemic – with a lack of funding opportunities forcing researchers out of the field.
“That’s why Alzheimer’s Research UK is calling on government to save the progress being made in dementia research, by delivering on its 2019 election promise to double its funding investment to over £160 million a year. So far, over 45,000 people have signed our petition, holding government to account on its pledge, and we urge everyone to lend their voice by visiting alzres.uk/sign-our-petition.”