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Global dementia to triple in 30 years – WHO

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Thursday that as the global population ages, the number of people living with dementia is expected to triple by 2050, thus undermining both social and economic development.

Dementia is a general term for several diseases that are mostly progressive, affecting memory, other cognitive abilities and behaviour and interfering significantly with a person's ability to maintain the activities of daily living.

Of its kind, Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia and accounts for 60 to 70 % of cases. The other common types are vascular dementia and mixed forms.

The UN health agency estimated that the total population affected by dementia could triple from 50 million to 152 million by 2050.

Given that the current annual global cost of dementia is already estimated at US$818 billion, equivalent to more than one % of global gross domestic product (GDP), it's estimated that by 2030, the cost is expected to have more than doubled to two trillion dollars, which would seriously undermine social and economic development and overwhelm health and social services, including long-term care systems


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