Dementia rises to No. 1 killer in Britain

For the first time, residents of the United Kingdom are more likely to die from Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias (ADRD) than from any other cause.

Dementia has overtaken heart disease as Britain’s No. 1 killer, outpacing cardiac deaths by more than 16,000 in 2016, according to the latest data from the British Office of National Statistics and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.

The combination of better treatments for heart health and a growing demographic of older adults has pushed ADRD to the number one slot. The government has historically allotted about £132 million per year ($173 million USD) for dementia research, an amount that advocacy groups say should be doubled for the next five years, reports the (UK) Telegraph.

“These startling figures emphasise the health crisis we face in the UK at the hands of dementia,” said Hilary Evans, Chief Executive at Alzheimer's Research UK, in the Telegraph article. “Year-on-year, we are seeing more people conquer and survive serious health conditions like heart disease, but deaths from dementia continue to rise. Dementia may be the biggest killer in the UK today, but research has the power to stop this from being the case in the future.”

ADRD kills more than 70,000 people in the UK each year. About 850,000 people in Britain have Alzheimer’s disease.

Topics: Alzheimer's/Dementia