As many as a third of babies born during 2015 are at risk of developing dementia in their lifetime, according to an analysis by Alzheimer’s Research UK.
The report estimated that approximately 32% of people born in the UK in 2015 will develop dementia during their lifetime. The report identified a disparity between genders in the risk of experiencing the condition. It estimated that 27% of males born in 2015 will develop the condition, while 37% of females born in 2015 while develop it.
The reason for the predicted rise in the proportion of people with the condition is thought to be due to rising life expectancy. As people live longer on average, the rates of the condition are predicted to rise, as age is the biggest risk factor associated with dementia.
Dr Matthew Norton, head of policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: ‘These figures underline a stark reality: as people are living longer, more and more people will develop dementia in the future if action is not taken now to tackle the condition. It’s wonderful news that each generation is living longer than the last, but it’s important to ensure that people can enjoy these extra years in good health. Dementia is our greatest medical challenge and if we are to beat it, we must invest in research to find new treatments and preventions.’
The research team stated that greater investment into treatments which may be able to delay the onset of the condition by five years. They estimate that this could reduce the number of people with dementia by as much as a third.
Dr Norton added: ‘Research has the power to transform lives, and our actions now will help determine the future for children born today. The hundreds of thousands of families affected by dementia now deserve to know that we are fighting for them.’