The predicted explosion of dementia cases may be less severe than previously thought, a study in Nature Communications suggests. Researchers looked at three areas of England, 20 years apart, and found new rates of dementia were lower than past trends would suggest. They say improvements in men’s health is the most likely explanation.
Researchers, funded by the Medical Research Council and dementia charities, interviewed about 7,500 people aged 65 and over living in Cambridgeshire, Nottingham and Newcastle in the early 1990s.
They found rates of new cases of dementia had been fairly steady in women over this time, but had fallen in men. Extrapolating their findings to apply to the rest of the UK, they say there would be 40,000 fewer cases of the disease than estimates put forward two decades ago would suggest.