Global Dementia Cases May Triple By 2050 Unless Risk Factors Are Reduced

Results from a study of 195 countries and territories estimates that by 2050, 153 million people are expected to have dementia worldwide – up from 57 million in 2019. In the United States, the number is expected to increase 100%, from an estimated 5.3 million in 2019 to 10.5 million in 2050…, Global dementia cases may triple by 2050 unless risk factors are reduced, Kelli Whitlock Burton, Feb 2022

Although the United States had the 37th lowest percentage increase across all countries considered, “this expected increase is still large and requires attention from policy and decision-makers,” said coinvestigator Emma Nichols, MPH, a researcher with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, Seattle.

The increase is largely driven by population growth and population aging, but researchers noted that expanding access to education and addressing risk factors such as obesity, high blood sugar, and smoking could blunt the rise in cases.

The countries with the lowest expected percentage change in total number of dementia cases between 2019 and 2050 were Japan (27%), Bulgaria (37%), Serbia (38%), Lithuania (44%), Greece (45%), Latvia (47%), Croatia (55%), Ukraine (55%), Italy (56%), and Finland (58%).

“There is a considerable and urgent need to reinforce a public health approach towards dementia to better inform the people and decision-makers about the appropriate means to delay or avoid these dire projections.