50+ health * Healthy living

Undiagnosed dementia cases to soar

Undiagnosed dementia cases set to soar in next decade One million cases by 2021

Over half a million people will have undiagnosed dementia in the next decade, according to a new report.

Currently, around 750,000 people in the UK suffer from dementia, but this figure is set to rise to over a million by 2021, a report for the Alzheimer's Society has warned.

The report - Mapping the Dementia Gap - reveals the number of people living with dementia in different areas of the UK, along with diagnosis rates for the condition.

On average, only around 40 per cent of people with dementia are medically diagnosed with it. However, diagnosis rates vary across the country. This means that for thousands of people, getting diagnosed and getting help with the condition is dependent on where they live.

Dorset has the lowest rates of diagnosis in the country, the report found, with only a quarter of people with dementia diagnosed.

In contrast to this, two out of three people living with dementia in Belfast have been medically diagnosed with the condition.

Fiona Phillips, who is an Alzheimer's Society ambassador, said: "It's shocking that so many people are struggling to cope with this devastating illness all on their own.

"If we don't raise awareness of dementia, in ten years time, half a million people will be unable to give their symptoms a name and have no access to the help they so desperately need and deserve."

This article was published on Tue 1 March 2011

Image © Karen Roach - Fotolia.com

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