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article imageDementia rates declining in UK

By Tim Sandle     Jul 18, 2013 in Health
A new study suggests that the rate of dementia in the U.K. has decreased over the past two decades. This is a reversal to a previous period of steady increase.
The study has found that those born more recently have a lower risk of prevalent dementia than those born earlier in the twentieth century, according to the BBC. This is based on a review of people living in areas of Cambridgeshire, Nottingham and Newcastle.
Dementia is marked by severe memory loss and develops slowly. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. The study interviewed 7,796 people aged 65 and older, and the researchers compared the results with those of a similar study conducted between 1989 and 1994 in the same locations.
The findings are that found that only 6.5% of the sample people interviewed in between 2008 and 2011 showed symptoms of dementia. This can be compared the earlier 1989 and 1994 study which showed that the dementia rate was above 8%.
The results also indicated a gender divide. This latest study indicated that women are more susceptible to dementia, with around 8% of women estimated to have the disease, compared to only 4.9% of men.
Based on the recent the study the rate of dementia is slowing. Discussing the findings, Eric Karran, director of research at the group is quoted by the Daily Express as saying that: “One interpretation of the findings is that general health and health management has improved to the extent that it has helped reduce dementia risk, which is encouraging”.
The results may not be confined to the U.K. The New York Times reports that a recent study, conducted in Denmark, found that people in their 90s who were given a standard test of mental ability in 2010 scored substantially better than people who had reached their 90s a decade earlier.
The report has been published in the medical journal The Lancet and it was funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC). The results are part of the MRC Cognitive Function and Ageing Study of more than 15,000 older people.
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