Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dementia to quadruple in Australia by 2050: Report

SYDNEY - Dementia rates in Australia will increase four-fold as the population ages, affecting more than 1 million people by 2050, a report warned yesterday.

The forecast, prepared for the Alzheimer's Australia lobby group by consulting firm Access Economics, warned 2010 would signal the beginning of the trend, with the first of the "baby boomer" generation reaching retirement age.

Neurodegenerative conditions such as dementia would overtake heart disease and cancer as the most pressing issue for Australia's health system, the report said.

"The rising prevalence of dementia will have dire consequences for our health care system and our quality of life," it said.

The number of people with dementia was predicted to rise to 1.13 million by 2050 from 245,400 this year. Dementia was already the leading single cause of disability in Australians and by 2023 would cost the health system more than heart disease.

"By the 2060s, spending on dementia is set to outstrip that of any other health condition," the report said. AFP

From TODAY, World – Wednesday, 02-Sep-2009