Dementia affects 6.6 million women

Dementia affects around 6.6 million women in Europe, more than twice as many as men.

“Women continue to be disproportionately affected by dementia: 6,650,228 women to 3,130,449 men, in Europe”, says the report released by Alzheimer Europe during a European Parliament lunch-debate organized by Christophe Hansen, MEP from Luxembourg.

The new Alzheimer Europe report mirrors the results of the collaborative analysis of recent prevalence studies, revealing updated rates of dementia prevalence in Europe. With regard to women, with the exception of the age group between 75 and 79 years old, there was a reduction in the prevalence of dementia in the last 10 years compared to the Alzheimer Europe European Collaboration on Dementia – EuroCoDe (2006-2008) project. The document estimates that the number of people with dementia in the European Union at 27 is 7,853,705 and in European countries with representation in Alzheimer Europe at 9,780,678. Compared to previous estimates, these numbers represent a significant reduction from 8,785,645 for the European Union to 27 and 10,935,444 for other European regions, Alzheimer Portugal said in a statement. According to the document, the number of people with dementia in Europe will almost double by 2050, increasing to 14,298,671 in the European Union and to 18,846,286 in the rest of Europe. The Alzheimer Europe Yearbook also highlights “significant limitations” in the available research on the prevalence of dementia, as well as the lack of research on the prevalence of young people with dementia (under 65).

It also points out the limitations regarding the prevalence of different types of dementia, the number of people affected at different stages, including those with mild cognitive impairment and the prevalence of dementia in people of ethnic minorities. Commenting on these results, the executive director of Alzheimer Europe, Jean Georges, said that “it is promising to see that healthier lifestyles, better education and greater control of cardiovascular risk factors appear to have contributed to reducing the prevalence of dementia”. “However, our report also demonstrates that the number of people living with dementia is predicted to increase substantially in the coming years, which will put greater pressure on care and support services, at the same time and that better ways for treatment and prevention are identified”, says Jean Georges in the statement released by Alzheimer Portugal.

He further argued that, “so that people with dementia, their families and their caregivers have access to high-quality, person-centered care, governments must ensure that their health and care systems are prepared for meet this need, requiring greater investments in research for the treatment and prevention of dementia”.

The results presented are based on a collaborative analysis of the studies published after the completion of the EuroCoDe project. This analysis included 16 studies that met the predefined quality criteria.

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