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article image1% of global GDP spent on Alzheimer's care

By KJ Mullins     Sep 21, 2010 in Health
Dementia, whether caused by Alzheimer's or other illnesses, is a heavy hit to the global economy, says a report titled The World Alzheimer Report 2010.
"This is the second wake-up call for Canada," says Debbie Benczkowski, CEO of the Alzheimer Society. "World governments, including Canada, are woefully unprepared for the impending crisis unless we start acting now."
The report found that Alzheimer's disease and other dementias are the single most significant health and social crisis of the 21st century, said Dr. Daisy Acosta, Chairman of ADI. What's more Acosta stressed world governments are not prepared for the social and economic disruptions looming in the future.
According to the report, if dementia care were a country it would be the 18th largest economy of the world. If it were a company dementia would exceed the annual revenue of Exxon Mobile.
Dementia will cost the global economy about $604 billion US this year. Most of those cost come from Western Europe and North America.
By 2030 the number of people living with dementia is estimated to be doubled and tripled within the following twenty years.
Even though dementia is one of the costliest illnesses, research is lower than for other major illnesses.
"The scale of this crisis cries out for global action," said Marc Wortmann, Executive director of ADI in a press release. "History shows that major diseases can be made manageable - and even preventable - with sufficient global awareness and the political will to make substantial investments in research and care options. Governments must make dementia a health priority and develop national plans to deal with the disease."
The World Alzheimer Reporturges the global community to make Alzheimer's a top priority and to make plans on how to tackle social and health consequences of the disease following the lead of France, Australia and England.
Dementia is a syndrome that can be caused by a number of progressive disorders that impair memory, thinking, behavior and the ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer's disease is irreversible and is the most common form of dementia. It accounts for 64% of all dementia cases in Canada.
More about Dementia, Alzheimers Disease, Senior citizens, Global economy
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