New European research indicates higher numbers of people with dementia than previously thought
Posted 10 July, 2009
New research from the EuroCoDe (European Collaboration on Dementia) project, financed by the European Commission and coordinated by Alzheimer Europe, has shown an increase in the prevalence of dementia in Europe, compared to previous studies. In response to this, Alzheimer Scotland has revised its current estimates for numbers of people with dementia in Scotland in 2009 and 2031 up to 69,500 and 127,000 respectively (previously 63,500 and 108,000). Revised statistics page here.
Previously underreported data
Dr Emma Reynish, a consultant geriatrician from the Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy and her EuroCoDe colleagues carried out a systematic review of all European epidemiological studies reporting dementia prevalence. EuroCoDe is the largest collaborative analysis study to date in this field. While dementia prevalence rates for all men and for women up to age 85 largely confirmed previous findings, Dr Reynish said that due to the lack of data in the oldest old in previous prevalence studies, the prevalence of dementia of women over the age of 85 had been previously underreported.
Alzheimer Scotland has revised its estimates based on a combination of the EuroCoDe figures (which constitute the most recent research available, but not from the UK) and the prevalence rates from the Alzheimer’s Society Dementia UK report in 2007 (which uses earlier studies from England and Wales). There is now a clear need for Scotland-specific population research on dementia.
Informing Scotland’s first national dementia strategy
Henry Simmons, Chief Executive of Alzheimer Scotland, said,
Given that the Scottish Government will be developing the first national dementia strategy for Scotland over the new few months, it will be critical to look at these findings and make due preparations. It is abundantly clear that we need to develop a Scotland-based research programme to inform our work in forthcoming decades.