Dementia is now believed to be the leading killer in women which claims as many as 32,000 lives in a year.
According to the official figures, the deaths caused by dementia and Alzheimer’s is three times more than those caused by breast cancer, while it remains the third biggest killer in men.
Deaths caused by dementia in women rose from 11.5 percent in 2012 to 12.2 percent in 2013.
According to the expert’s, the rise in figures may be a result of better awareness of the disease and willingness of the doctors to record it on death certificates.
Besides, the government’s initiative to improve the diagnosis rates and deal with the stigma surrounding dementia may also have increased the figures.
The coronary heart disease has been the leading cause of death in men, which accounts for one in sex deaths.
Last year, approximately 38,000 men died from acute heart conditions including heart attacks, while 31,850 women died from dementia.
Combining all subtypes of diseases, cancer becomes the leading killer of men and women, accounting for 3 in 10 deaths. This data were obtained from the Office for National Statistics.
According to the ONS data, 506,790 deaths were registered in England and Wales in the year 2013, which meant a rise of 1.5 percent compared with 2012. Out of these, 261,205 were women and 245,585 were men.
Dementia became the leading cause of death in women taking over heart disease in 2012.
The policy manager at Alzheimer’s Society, Gavin Terry said ‘with 225,000 people developing dementia every year and numbers set to soar, dementia is one of the biggest health and social care challenges the UK faces.
‘For too long dementia has been wrongly seen by many clinicians as a natural part of ageing and, as such, they have failed to record it as a cause of death.
‘Increasing awareness of the condition has started to combat this, and these figures are likely to be a product of that.’
The Director of External Affair for Alzheimer’s Research UK, Hilary Evans said ‘age is the biggest risk factor for dementia, and with women living longer than men, we would expect to see this reflected in cause of death. Sadly, about half a million women in the UK are living with dementia.
‘The figures highlight dementia as a huge problem that we cannot shy away from any longer.
‘Encouragingly, the statistics reveal that other health conditions, such as heart disease, are beginning to be tamed and this has come about due to improved research into treatment, prevention and better public health.
‘We must now turn our attentions to dementia – our greatest health challenge – and invest in research that will drive better prevention and treatment of the condition.’
Image courtesy: Getty Images
News source: dailymail.co.uk
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