Dementia rates drop sharply

Two new studies published in The Lancet suggest that dementia rates may be falling sharply around the world, softening concerns that aging populations in many countries will bring a wave of dementia among the elderly. One of the studies found that dementia rates have fallen 25 percent over the last two decades among people 65 and older in England and Wales.  Specifically, it dropped from 8.3 percent to 6.2 percent in a study of 7,635 randomly selected participants aged 65 and older. This trend is projected to continue in many developed countries.

The second study, from Denmark, found that the percentage of patients who suffer from the most severe impairment from dementia fell from 22 percent to 17 percent.

Experts have suspected a decline in dementia rates for some time, though it has been difficult to prove.  Now, scientists have statistical evidence to back these hypotheses, which they believe can be attributed to a generally healthier and better educated population.  Across the board, there is a lower incidence of dementia among better educated people, as well as among those who control their blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

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Sourced from: The New York Times, Dementia Rate Is Found to Drop Sharply, as Forecast