The predicted explosion of dementia cases, often referred to as the “dementia time-bomb”, could be less severe than previously thought, in men at least. Based on latest data from Cambridgeshire, Nottingham and Newcastle, there could be 40,000 fewer cases per year in the UK than estimates first circulated two decades ago.
The reasons for this fall in the incidence of dementia have been attributed primarily to a reduction in cardiovascular risks in men, who are thought to have become better at looking after themselves:
“For example, better heart and brain health – with fewer men smoking, less salt used in food, and a greater emphasis on exercise and blood pressure medication – may have helped…”
Dementia threat ‘may be less severe’ than predicted. London: BBC Health News, April 19th 2016.
This relates to:
Matthews, F E. Stephan, BCM. [and] Robinson, L. [et al] (2016). A two decade dementia incidence comparison from the Cognitive Function and Ageing Studies I and II. Nature Communications. Article number: 11398. April 19th 2016. [Epub ahead of print].
Charities have warned against complacency. For example:
Rate of new cases of dementia in the UK falls over two decades, research shows. London: Alzheimer’s Society, April 19th 2016.
Further analysis and comment:
UK dementia rates have fallen sharply in men. London: NHS Choices Behind the Headlines, April 20th 2016.