According to the Global Burden of Disease study, which is the first to provide prognostic estimates for 204 countries worldwide, the number of adults (aged 40 and over) living with dementia worldwide is expected to nearly triple , from an estimated 57 million in 2019 to 153 million in 2050.

The main reason for this growth is due to population growth and an aging population.


The study also looks at four risk factors for dementia – smoking, obesity, high blood sugar, and low education – and highlights the impact they will have on future trends.

For example, Improvements in access to global education are projected to reduce the prevalence of dementia by 6.2 million cases worldwide by 2050. But this will be offset by anticipated trends in obesity, high blood sugar levels and smoking, which are expected to result in a further increase of 6 – 8 million cases of dementia.

The study predicts that the greatest increase in prevalence will occur in eastern Sub-saharan africa, where the number of people living with dementia is expected to increase by 357%, from almost 660,000 in 2019 to more than 3 million in 2050, mainly driven by population growth. By contrast, the smallest increase in the number of dementia cases is projected in high-income Asia Pacific. Similarly, in Western Europe, the number of dementia cases is expected to increase by 74%, from almost 8 million in 2019 to almost 14 million in 2050.

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Countries with the Largest Percentage Change in Total Number of Dementia Cases 2019–50

  • 1) Qatar (1926%)

  • 2) United Arab Emirates (1795%)

  • 3) Bahrain (1084%)

  • 4) Oman (943%)

  • 5) Saudi Arabia (898%)

  • 6) Kuwait (850%)

  • 7) Iraq (559%)

  • 8) Maldives (554%)

  • 9) Jordan (522%)

  • 10) Equatorial Guinea (498%)

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Countries with the Lowest Percentage Change in Total Number of Dementia Cases 2019–50

  • 1) Japan (27%)

  • 2) Bulgaria (37%)

  • 3) Serbia (38%)

  • 4) Lithuania (44%)

  • 5) Greece (45%)

  • 6) Latvia (47%)

  • 7) Croatia (55%)

  • 8) Ukraine (55%)

  • 9) Italy (56%)

  • 10) Finland (58%)

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The authors highlight the urgent need to implement locally tailored interventions that reduce exposure to risk factors, along with research to discover effective disease-modifying treatments and new modifiable risk factors to reduce future disease burden.

Globally, dementia affects more women than men. Dementia is currently the seventh leading cause of death worldwide and one of the leading causes of disability and dependency among older people globally, with global costs in 2019 estimated at more than $ 1 trillion.