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Dementia becomes leading cause of death in England and Wales

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Dementia accounted for over 1 in 10 deaths Dementia accounted for over 1 in 10 deaths

Dementia is the primary cause of death in England and Wales, figures released by the Office of National Statistics have revealed.

Dementia and Alzheimer's disease accounted for more than a tenth of the registered deaths in England and Wales in 2018, the figures show. Last year saw the highest number of deaths for 10 years, with 541,589 deaths registered in England and Wales.

‘For four years now, we’ve seen deaths caused by dementia increase. We need to take action now to tackle the biggest health crisis of our time. One person develops dementia in the UK every three minutes and there are still far too many facing a future alone, without adequate support,’ said Sally Copley, Director of Policy and Campaigns at Alzheimer’s Society.

Mortality rates have remained generally stable since 2011, when taking into account the size and age of the general population. Deaths from dementia and Alzheimer's disease continued to increase, accounting for 12.8% of all registered deaths.

‘There has never been a more urgent need for the Government, the NHS, the research community and society to unite with us against this devastating condition,’ added Ms Copley.

‘We are working hard to make sure everyone can live well with dementia today and find a cure for the future, but we need the Government to prioritise dementia with a dedicated NHS Dementia Fund and invest in a plan for long term social care reform.’

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