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5th March 2013

Dementia now 10th leading cause of death in UK

According to research published in medical journal The Lancet today (March 5) the number of Britons dying from dementia and Alzheimer's has soared over the past two decades.

The two conditions (dementia and Alzheimer's) are now the 10th most common cause of death in the UK - 20 years ago this was only the 24th most common cause of death.

Wake-up call

Campaigners said the figures were a "wake-up call" and that they showed the impact of Britain's ageing population - as well as increased reported of dementia.

Commenting on the figures, Andrew Chidgey of the Alzheimer's Society statement said: "These figures lay out the challenge that dementia poses to the UK but in many ways are not surprising. In fact as the condition is often not recorded as a cause of death this may even be an understatement. Dementia is now one of the top 10, and fastest rising causes of death. As well as the untold human cost, dementia costs the economy £23 billion a year.

"Despite these statistics and the fact one in three people over the age of 65 will develop it, funding for dementia research lags far behind other conditions like cancer. With numbers soaring and costs trebling we need urgent action to find more effective treatments and ultimately defeat dementia."

Find out how the Alzheimer's Society reported the story

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