Increasing number of dementia cases among elderly Welsh population


There is an alarming rise in new cases of dementia in the elderly population of Wales, UK. According to a study published in the Alzheimer’s & Dementia journal, the chances of dementia in Wales rose by 25% from 2008 to 2018. This means that there are now an estimated 60,000 people living with dementia in Wales, and this number is expected to continue to rise.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of South Wales, looked at data from the Welsh Dementia Research Database. The database includes information on over 100,000 people diagnosed with dementia in Wales.

The researchers found that the incidence of dementia increased by 25% between 2008 and 2018. This means that there were an estimated 1,000 more new cases of dementia in Wales in 2018 than there were in 2008.

The researchers also found that the incidence of dementia was higher in women than in men. For example, in 2018, there were 1,200 new cases of dementia in women in Wales, compared to 800 new patients in men.

The researchers say that the rise in dementia cases in Wales is likely due to several factors, including the ageing population, changes in lifestyle, and environmental factors.

Several factors may be contributing to the rise in dementia cases in Wales, including:

  • The ageing population: By 2050, the population of 65 and over in Wales is estimated to rise by 40%. This means that there will be more people at risk of developing dementia.
  •  Lifestyle changes: Smoking, obesity, and lack of exercise have all been linked to an increased risk of dementia. These factors are becoming more common in Wales, contributing to the rise in dementia cases.
  •  Environmental factors: Some evidence indicates that exposure to environmental factors like air pollution and heavy metals may heighten the likelihood of developing dementia.

The rise in dementia cases is a severe challenge to Wales, and taking steps to address this issue is essential. These steps include:

  • Raising awareness of dementia: More people need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of dementia to get a diagnosis and treatment early.
  •  Investing in research: Additional research is necessary to comprehend the underlying reasons for dementia and create innovative remedies.
  •  Supporting people with dementia: People with dementia and their families need support to live well with the condition. This includes access to care, services, and information.

The rise in dementia cases is a complex issue, but we can do some things to address it. By raising awareness, investing in research, and supporting people with dementia, we can help to make a difference.

Study findings

All dementia cases were extracted from databases and categorized following specific dementia subtypes, including AD, frontotemporal dementia (FTD), Huntington’s disease (HD), Lewy bodies (DLB), VD, and PD.

For all individuals, the first instance of each diagnosis was considered. Individuals diagnosed with “drug-induced” or “alcohol-induced” dementia were not considered in this study. Finally, a total of 206,640 ‘unique’ diagnoses were found.

A higher incidence of AD and VD was observed throughout the study period in the Welsh population. In addition, a large percentage of non-specific dementia diagnoses prevailed, followed by DLB, FTD, and HD. An increase in the incidence and prevalence rates of overall dementia occurred between 1999 and 2018.


One of the critical limitations of the study is the datasets used ranged over twenty years, during which the criteria for the diagnosis of dementia changed. In addition, the mortality coding practice in the U.K. changed in 2011, which led to changes in the reported cause of death. As a result of these changes, it is possible that many dementia cases were overlooked in this study. 

Despite these limitations, medical records of the Welsh population indicate an increase in new dementia diagnoses in older people between 1999 and 2018. This observation is linked with ageing and prolonged survival time after diagnosis.

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Marta Lopez

I am a content writer and I write articles on sports, news, business etc.

By Marta Lopez


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