Number of People Affected by Dementia to Triple in Next 30 Years

72-year-old Kanemasa Ito (L) holds hands with his 68-year-old wife Kimiko, who was diagnosed with dementia 11 years ago, on a sofa at their home in Kawasaki, south of Tokyo, Japan, April 6, 2016. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo
72-year-old Kanemasa Ito (L) holds hands with his 68-year-old wife Kimiko, who was diagnosed with dementia 11 years ago, on a sofa at their home in Kawasaki, south of Tokyo, Japan, April 6, 2016. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo
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Number of People Affected by Dementia to Triple in Next 30 Years

72-year-old Kanemasa Ito (L) holds hands with his 68-year-old wife Kimiko, who was diagnosed with dementia 11 years ago, on a sofa at their home in Kawasaki, south of Tokyo, Japan, April 6, 2016. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo
72-year-old Kanemasa Ito (L) holds hands with his 68-year-old wife Kimiko, who was diagnosed with dementia 11 years ago, on a sofa at their home in Kawasaki, south of Tokyo, Japan, April 6, 2016. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

As the global population ages, the number of people living with dementia is expected to triple from 50 million to 152 million by 2050, according to a report published on Thursday by the World Health Organization.

"Nearly 10 million people develop dementia each year, 6 million of them in low- and middle-income countries," says Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO. "The suffering that results is enormous. This is an alarm call: we must pay greater attention to this growing challenge and ensure that all people living with dementia, wherever they live, get the care that they need."

In that regard, the organization launcehed a web-based platform, The Global Dementia Observatory, to track progress on the provision of services for people with dementia and for those who care for them, both within countries and globally. It will monitor the presence of national policy and plans, risk reduction measures and infrastructure for providing care and treatment. Information on surveillance systems and disease burden data is also included.

"This is the first global monitoring system for dementia that includes such a comprehensive range of data," said Dr Tarun Dua, of WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse. "The system will not only enable us to track progress, but just as importantly, to identify areas where future efforts are most needed."

Acoording to the WHO, the estimated annual global cost of dementia is US$ 818 billion, equivalent to more than 1% of global gross domestic product. The total cost includes direct medical costs, social care and informal care (loss of income of carers). By 2030, the cost is expected to have more than doubled, to US$ 2 trillion, a cost that could undermine social and economic development and overwhelm health and social services, including long-term care systems.

Dementia is an umbrella term for several diseases that are mostly progressive, affecting memory, other cognitive abilities and behavior and interfering significantly with a person’s ability to maintain the activities of daily living. Women are more often affected than men. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia and accounts for 60–70% of cases. The other common types are vascular dementia and mixed forms.



Gunmen Kill 15 Police Officers and Several Civilians in Russia's Dagestan

A view shows plumes of smoke rising from building, in Derbent, Russia, June 23, 2024, in this still image obtained from a video. VIDEO OBTAINED BY REUTERS/via REUTERS
A view shows plumes of smoke rising from building, in Derbent, Russia, June 23, 2024, in this still image obtained from a video. VIDEO OBTAINED BY REUTERS/via REUTERS
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Gunmen Kill 15 Police Officers and Several Civilians in Russia's Dagestan

A view shows plumes of smoke rising from building, in Derbent, Russia, June 23, 2024, in this still image obtained from a video. VIDEO OBTAINED BY REUTERS/via REUTERS
A view shows plumes of smoke rising from building, in Derbent, Russia, June 23, 2024, in this still image obtained from a video. VIDEO OBTAINED BY REUTERS/via REUTERS

More than 15 police officers and several civilians, including an Orthodox priest, were killed by armed militants in Russia’s southern republic of Dagestan on Sunday, its governor Sergei Melikov said in a video statement early Monday.
The gunmen opened fire on two Orthodox churches, a synagogue and a police post in two cities, according to the authorities.
Russia’s National Anti-Terrorist Committee described the attacks as terrorist acts.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were declared days of mourning in the region.
Dagestan's Interior Ministry said a group of armed men shot at a synagogue and a church in the city of Derbent, located on the Caspian Sea. Both the church and the synagogue caught fire, according to state media. Almost simultaneously, reports appeared about an attack on a church and a traffic police post in the Dagestan capital, Makhachkala.
Authorities announced a counter-terrorist operation in the region. The Anti-Terrorist Committee said five gunmen were “eliminated.” The governor said six “bandits” had been “liquidated.” The conflicting numbers couldn't be immediately reconciled and it wasn't clear how many militants were involved in the attacks.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks. The authorities launched a criminal investigation on the charge of a terrorist act.
Russian state news agency Tass cited law enforcement sources as saying that a Dagestani official was detained over his sons' involvement in the attacks.
Melikov said in the video statement that the situation in the region was under control of the law enforcement and local authorities, and vowed that the investigation of the attacks will continue until “all the sleeping cells” of the militants are uncovered.
He claimed, without providing evidence, that the attacks might have been prepared from abroad, and referenced what the Kremlin calls “the special military operation” in Ukraine in an apparent attempt to link the attacks to it.