With 4.1 million Indians living with dementia–out of 46.8 million world-wide–a new report by experts at King’s College London suggests that by 2050, nearly half of all people with the disease globally will live in Asia.The report, titled ‘World Alzeimer Report 2015’, reveals that one person develops dementia every three seconds across the globe. The numbers are projected to nearly double every 20 years, increasing to 74.7 million by 2030 and to 131.5 million by 2050.
India has the third highest number of people with dementia after China and the United States.
There are more than 9.9 million new cases of dementia each year worldwide, implying one new case every 3.2 seconds, according to estimates based on research led by Martin Prince from the college’s Global Observatory for Ageing and Dementia Care.
The report shows that the current annual societal and economic cost of treating dementia is $818 billion, and it is expected to become a trillion dollar disease in just three years’ time, a release from the college said.
It added that the report’s findings showed that the cost of treating dementia had increased by 35% since the 2010 World Alzheimer Report estimate of $604 billion.
Prince notes: “We now believe that we underestimated the current and future scale of the epidemic by 12-13% in the 2009 World Alzheimer Report, with costs growing more rapidly than the numbers of people affected.”
It is estimated that 58% of all people living with dementia today reside in low and middle income countries, a proportion that is anticipated to rise to 68% by 2050, driven mainly by population growth and an ageing global population.
The findings show that the cost has increased by 35% since the 2010 World Alzheimer Report estimate of $604 billion.
This means that if global dementia care were a country, it would be the 18th largest economy in the world, and would exceed the market values of companies such as Apple ($742 billion) and Google ($368 billion).
The report calls for a specific global work stream from all stakeholders focused on assisting LMICs to develop programmes to raise awareness and improve access to early diagnosis and care.