IAP: Statement 'A Call for Action to Tackle the Growing Burden of Dementia'

5 July 2018

The Inter Academy Partnership for Health (IAP for Health) yesterday 5 July 2018 issued a ‘A Call for Action to Tackle the Growing Burden of Dementia'.

In the Statement, IAP highlights the fact that, worldwide, the proportion of the population that is 65 years of age or greater has grown over the last decades, and this trend will continue. Also, because advancing age is the greatest known risk factor for dementia, the number of individuals living with dementia worldwide will nearly triple by 2050. Most of this increase – from 47.5 million people to some 135.5 million – will occur among people living in low- and middle-income countries.

A mixture of brain diseases often underlies dementia, with many people showing changes consistent with both Alzheimer’s disease (the most common form of dementia) and cerebrovascular disease.

While young onset (under 60 years) dementia is rare in many countries, this may not be the case where HIV/AIDS is prevalent, such as in sub-Saharan Africa and other low-income countries. Thus young people in such countries may bear a disproportionately greater burden of dementia in years to come. Dementia also does not affect men and women equally.
Women are at both greater risk of developing dementia and then living longer with the condition. Women also provide most of the informal (unpaid) care for people living with dementia.

The IAP for Health Statement, therefore, specifically calls on governments and other healthcare providers to implement a number of practices.

The IAP Statement is endorsed by more than 50 members of IAP for Health (i.e. academies of medicine and academies of science with strong medical sections from around the world).

Read the full press release of IAP (PDF)

About IAP

The IAP is a global network of science academies that wish to play a more significant role in their home countries and regions.