Dementia the world's 18th largest economy

Published 2010-09-21 00:00. Updated 2013-11-26 10:29

[NEWS, 21 September 2010] Alzheimer and other dementias will play an increasing role in the global economy in coming decades. This according to a report from the Alzheimer's Disease International, in which researchers at Karolinska Institutet have participated.

Anders WimoPhoto: Stefan Zimmerman

"If dementia was a country, it would be the world's 18th largest economy", says Anders Wimo, Adjunct Professor at Karolinska Institutet and one of the lead authors of the report.

Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) is the international federation of 73 Alzheimer associations around the world. The published World Alzheimer's Report 2010 contains recent data on the incidence and cost of dementia in the world, and a forecast for the next 40 years. Among other things, the report shows that the cost of dementia this year will exceed 604 billion U.S. dollars, which is more than 1 percent of global GDP. The authors of the report also expect that the proportion of people with dementia will have doubled in 2030, and tripled until 2050.

"The cost of caring for all people with dementia is likely to increase even more", says Anders Wimo. "This applies particularly to low-and middle-income countries, where you can count on raising living standards combined with an expansion of health care and other social security systems."

The report found a number of recommendations to host governments for the beam to meet the global "dementia crisis". It also calls on WHO and the G8/G20 countries to prioritize the issue.

The work with the World Alzheimer's Report 2010 has been partially funded by the Swedish Brain Power.

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