Dementia/Alzheimer’s The ‘Main Cause Of Death’ In 2022
Official figures from the Office for National Statistics have revealed this week (April 12th) that dementia and Alzheimer’s disease were the leading cause of death last year, accounting for 11.4 per cent of all deaths in the UK.
For the first time since the start of the pandemic back in March 2020, covid-19 has dropped out of the top five leading causes of death in England and Wales, with coronary heart disease (which is a risk factor for dementia) emerging as the second biggest cause of death.
Commenting on the findings, Samantha Benham-Hermetz – director of policy and public affairs at charity Alzheimer’s Research UK – said: “These statistics are a stark reminder of the terrible and far-reaching effects of dementia on our society.
“Our most recent survey showed that two in ten people are unaware that dementia is even a cause of death, yet last year it claimed nearly 66,000 lives in England and Wales alone. And despite its devastating impact, and in contrast with other leading causes of death like heart disease or cancer, there are still no treatments available on the NHS that can slow or stop it.”
Dementia and Alzheimer’s was also found to be the leading cause of death among females for 2022, with 42,635 deaths over the course of the year (or 15 per cent of all registered female deaths).
It can certainly be difficult to view diseases of this kind as terminal but they do eventually lead to death.
A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that dementia is indeed a terminal illness but isn’t sufficiently recognised as being so, which means that many people don’t receive the palliative care required to improve the comfort of the terminally ill.
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