Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Big News

On Monday, new figures were released by the Office of National Statistics which showed that, for the first time, Alzheimer's and other dementias are the leading cause of death in England and Wales. Of the 529,655 deaths registered during 2015, dementia accounted for 61,686 ie 11.6%.

The report states that since 2010 mortality rates for dementia have increased in contrast to the other top 4 causes of death in 2015 (ishchaemic heart diseases, cerebrovascular disease, chronic lower respiratory diseases and lung cancer)  which have all seen falling mortality rates in the last 15 years.

Before I read any further the first things that came to mind were that diagnosis of dementia is more accurate nowadays, people are living longer, the other conditions have improved treatments available and also that dementia is now recorded more on death certificates whereas when my mum died it was not mentioned. There's a short interview I did with a reporter from the BBC here.

Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer's Research UK, said:

“These figures once again call attention to the uncomfortable reality that currently, no-one survives a diagnosis of dementia. Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Christmas awareness campaign, launching on Wednesday, recognises this truth, that dementia is affecting increasing numbers of people and turning lives upside down.  Today’s report shows the potential for medical research and public policy to make a positive impact on the health of our nation. Thanks to better treatments and prevention programmes, deaths from many other serious conditions have been steadily dropping: now we must do the same for dementia. Dementia is not an inevitable part of ageing, it’s caused by diseases that can be fought through research, and we must bring all our efforts to bear on what is now our greatest medical challenge.”
You may have noticed that Hilary mentions ARUK's Christmas awareness campaign which launches tomorrow. This is a major step forward for the charity and I'll be sharing the details on here as soon as I'm allowed................

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