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Researchers Predict 81 Million Dementia Cases By 2040

Study forecasts highest rate of increase in countries such as India and China

FRIDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The number of dementia cases will double every 20 years worldwide and will increase most rapidly in India, China and their south Asian and western Pacific neighbors, according to a study in the Dec. 17 issue of The Lancet.

Cleusa P. Ferri, Ph.D., of the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, London, UK, and colleagues combined review data on the prevalence of dementia in the world's major regions.

The researchers estimate that 24.3 million people worldwide now have dementia and that the numbers will increase by 4 to 6 million per year, or a rate of one new case every seven seconds. Dementia cases will double every 20 years and reach 81.1 million worldwide by 2040, they say. Overall, dementia cases will increase by 100% in developed countries and by 300% in India, China, south Asia and the western Pacific by 2040, they predict.

"If government policies are well formulated and planned with the projections described in this paper in mind, the inevitable shift of resource expenditure towards older people can be predicted and its consequences mitigated," the authors conclude.

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