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4th August 2014

More over-50s fear dementia than cancer, study finds

More of the over-50s are afraid of suffering from dementia as they get older than are afraid of cancer, a new study has found.

In a survey of 500 adults aged over 50 from across the UK two thirds said they feared developing the condition while only one in 10 feared developing cancer. Four per cent of those questioned said they feared developing a heart condition and less than one per cent were worried about getting diabetes.

Currently there are an estimated 800,000 people in the UK who suffer from dementia but the number diagnosed is already soaring thanks to an ageing population.

''As an increasing number of people are diagnosed with dementia more people are seeing the profound impact that it can have on both the individual as well as the wider family,'' said Paul Green, director of communications at over-50s company Saga, which conducted the survey. ''However whilst these fears are completely understandable, it's important that education around the condition is enhanced to give a greater understanding of the benefits of early diagnosis - and how this can help those living with the condition continue to lead fulfilling lives.'' 

Alison Cook, director of external affairs at the Alzheimer's Society, said: '''The possibility of losing the very essence of what makes you the individual that you are is a frightening prospect.

''But fear can mean people don't get a diagnosis and can often miss the opportunity to access treatments (which are only effective for people in the earlier stages of the condition) and the time to make important decisions about their future. We urge anyone concerned about dementia to speak to their GP and get in touch with Alzheimer's Society as there are lots of ways we can help.''

Read more on this story:

Daily Telegraph: Older people are more scared of dementia than cancer, poll finds

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