Dementia is 'the biggest killer for women'

Dementia is 'the biggest killer for women'

Dementia is the main cause of death for women in England and Wales and the figure is double that of men, official data shows. The disease kills more than three times as many women asbreast cancer and thousands more than heart attacks or strokes, the Office of National Statistics revealed. A total of 31,850 deaths due to dementia and Alzheimer's were recorded for 2013 while heart disease killed 26,075 and strokes claimed the lives of 20,706.

Hilary Evans, director of external affairs for Alzheimer's Research UK, said: "The figures highlight dementia as a huge problem that we cannot shy away from any longer.

"Encouragingly, the statistics reveal that other health conditions, such as heart disease, are beginning to be tamed and this has come about due to improved research into treatment, prevention and better public health.

"We must now turn our attentions to dementia - our greatest health challenge - and invest in research that will drive better prevention and treatment of the condition."

The disease ranks third in the most deadliest for men with 15,262 diagnosed, while lung cancer killed 16,818 men and heart disease, the biggest killer, was the cause of 37,797 deaths. Analysts say that the 7.5 per cent jump in dementia diagnoses over the previous 10 years is down to doctors' ability to spot signs of the brain syndrome and record it as a cause of death. 

The statistics follow the news that GPs will be paid £50 for every patient diagnosed with dementia in the next six months in a drive to uncover unexamined cases. Cancers were the broad disease group for which the largest percentage of deaths were registered in 2013, accounting for almost a third (29%) of all deaths. It was reported today that patients are missing vital cancer diagnoses cancer as they are sent home too early from hospital, said a health service ombudsman.

By Lamiat Sabin

The Telegraph, Wednesday 29 October 2014

View this article