Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Landmark report reveals massive global cost of Alzheimer's: 1 percent of global GDP -- and growing

21.09.2010
Global action needed to address 'most significant health crisis of the 21st century'

A landmark report on the Global Economic Impact of Dementia finds that Alzheimer's disease and other dementias are exacting a massive toll on the global economy, with the problem set to accelerate in coming years. The World Alzheimer Report 2010 – issued on World Alzheimer's Day by Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) – provides the most current and comprehensive global picture of the economic and social costs of the illness. The Report was jointly authored by Professor Anders Wimo of the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; and Professor Martin Prince, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK.

'This is a wake-up call 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. 'World governments are woefully unprepared for the social and economic disruptions this disease will cause.'

The Report reveals:

The worldwide costs of dementia will exceed 1% of global GDP in 2010, at US$604 billion.

If dementia care were a country, it would be the world's 18th largest economy. If it were a company, it would be the world's largest by annual revenue exceeding Wal-Mart (US$414 billion) and Exxon Mobil (US$311 billion).

The number of people with dementia will double by 2030, and more than triple by 2050.

The costs of caring for people with dementia are likely to rise even faster than the prevalence – especially in the developing world, as more formal social care systems emerge, and rising incomes lead to higher opportunity costs.

Reports from individual countries such as the UK suggest that dementia is one of the costliest illnesses – and yet research and investment is at a far lower level than for other major illnesses.

'The scale of this crisis cries out for global action,' said Marc Wortmann, Executive director of ADI. '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.'

'This new Report gives us the clearest, most comprehensive picture yet of the global economic and social costs of dementia,' said Prof Anders Wimo. 'In this World Alzheimer Report 2010, we merged the best available data and the most recent insights regarding the worldwide economic cost of dementia. This enabled us to provide more detailed estimates than before, by making use of recently available data that considerably strengthens the evidence base.'

The Report combines the most current prevalence data from the World Alzheimer Report 2009 with improved data on low and middle-income countries from the 10/66 Dementia Research Group studies in Latin America, India and China. The Report uses representative population-based samples from developing countries to better quantify the cost of informal care systems that have previously been excluded from impact estimates.

Co-author Professor Martin Prince urged nations to develop better plans for caring for the millions who have the disease. 'The care of people with dementia is not just a health issue – it is a massive social issue,' said Prof Prince. 'This is particularly true in low and middle income countries which lack adequate systems of formal care. Governments must show greater leadership, working with all stakeholders, to drive solutions to the long term care issue.'

Recommended Actions

The Report urges the global community to take the following immediate actions:

Governments worldwide should act urgently to make Alzheimer's disease a top priority and develop national plans to deal with the social and health consequences of dementia. Several countries have moved forward to develop national plans, including France, Australia and England. It is critical for other governments to follow suit.

Governments and other major research funders must increase research funding to a level more proportionate to the economic burden of the condition. Recently published data from the UK suggests that a 15-fold increase is required to reach parity with research into heart disease, and a 30-fold increase to achieve parity with cancer research.

Governments worldwide must develop policies and plans for long-term care that anticipate and address social and demographic trends and have an explicit focus on supporting family caregivers and ensuring social protection of vulnerable people with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.

The scale of what is facing us elevates this to a global challenge, which must be addressed as a top WHO priority and on the G-20/G-8 agenda.

Ruth Sutherland, Interim Chief Executive of Alzheimer's Society, said: 'These shocking statistics provide yet more proof that we cannot afford to ignore the growing global dementia crisis. These sky high figures represent not only a huge economic burden but also reflect the immeasurable impact dementia has on the lives of millions of people across the world. There are 750,000 people living with dementia in the UK and this number is set to reach a million within a generation. If we are to transform lives and reduce costs we need to act now. The government must lead the way in ensuring national dementia strategies are fully implemented and dementia research is given the funding it so desperately needs. '

1. Dementia is a syndrome that can be caused by a number of progressive disorders that affect memory, thinking, behavior and the ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia. Approximately 0.5% of the world's total population live with dementia and this will grow exponentially. After age 65, the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's roughly doubles every five years. At the age of 85, the odds of a person developing it are close to 50 percent. In the World Alzheimer Report 2009, ADI estimated that there are 35.6 million people living with dementia worldwide, increasing to 65.7 million by 2030 and 115.4 million by 2050.

2. The Report may be found at www.alz.co.uk/worldreport.

3. World Alzheimer's Day is observed on 21 September every year as an opportunity to raise awareness about the devastating impact of Alzheimer's and other dementias.

4. Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) is the international federation of 73 Alzheimer associations around the world. Each member is the Alzheimer association in their country who support people with dementia and their families. It was founded in 1984 as a network for Alzheimer associations around the world to share and exchange information, resources and skills. ADI is based in London and is registered as a non-profit organization in Illinois, USA. ADI has been in official relations with the World Health Organization since 1996. ADI's vision is an improved quality of life for people with dementia and their families throughout the world.

5. The Institute of Psychiatry is a school of King's College London and one of the world's largest post-graduate centres for research and teaching in psychiatry, psychology, and allied disciplines, including basic and clinical neurosciences. King's College London is one of the top 25 universities in the world (2010 QS international world rankings), The Sunday Times 'University of the Year 2010/11') and the fourth oldest in England. A research-led university based in the heart of London, King's has nearly 23,000 students from nearly 140 countries, and some 5,500 employees. King's is in the second phase of a £1 billion redevelopment programme which is transforming its estate.

King's College London and Guy's and St Thomas', King's College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts are part of King's Health Partners. King's Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering global collaboration between one of the world's leading research-led universities and three of London's most successful NHS Foundation Trusts, including leading teaching hospitals and comprehensive mental health services. For more information, visit: www.kingshealthpartners.org.

6. Karolinska Institutet is one of the world's leading medical universities. Its mission is to contribute to the improvement of human health through research and education. Karolinska Institutet accounts for over 40 per cent of the medical academic research conducted in Sweden and offers the country´s broadest range of education in medicine and health sciences. Since 1901 the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet selects the Nobel laureates in Physiology or Medicine. For more information, see the university's website: http://ki.se.

Louise Pratt | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.kcl.ac.uk

Further reports about: Alzheimer Disease GDP Karolinska Nobel Prize dementia health services

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Millions through license revenues
27.04.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bare bones: Making bones transparent

27.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions

27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

From volcano's slope, NASA instrument looks sky high and to the future

27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>