Friday, 9 March 2012

A strange statistic

'In 2006, there were 26.6 million (Alzheimer's) sufferers worldwide.' [Wikipedia]
This figure, or one close to it, is quoted time and again. Yet if 1 in 3 of us will develop AD, the number of sufferers worldwide must surely be vastly greater than 26.6 million. Now I can think of a couple of reasons why the proportion of sufferers in other countries might be smaller. In many developing countries people die, on average, much younger, and as Alzheimer's is predominantly a disease of old age most people probably die long before they develop it. Also, we know that the condition often goes undiagnosed even in our relatively developed country so it must be hugely underdiagnosed elsewhere. Even so, I would be very interested to know how the figure has been calculated and whether there are any other explanations for it not being very much higher.

1 comment:

  1. From Alzheimer's Disease International as of 2010: Numbers of people with dementia

    As of 2010, there are an estimated 35.6 million people with dementia worldwide. This number will nearly double every 20 years, to an estimated 65.7 million in 2030, and 115.4 million in 2050. Much of the increase will be in developing countries. Already 58% of people with dementia live in developing countries, but by 2050 this will rise to 71%. The fastest growth in the elderly population is taking place in China, India, and their south Asian and western Pacific neighbours.