HealthDay News — The number of people living with dementia worldwide more than doubled from 1990 to 2016, according to a study published online Nov. 26 in The Lancet Neurology.

Emma Nichols, from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues obtained data on dementia from 195 countries and territories from 1990 to 2016. They estimated deaths, prevalence, years of life lost, years of life lived with disability, and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs).

The researchers found that the global number of individuals living with dementia in 2016 was 43.8 million, which was up 117% from 20.2 million in 1990. This increase was in contrast to the minor increase in the age-standardized prevalence of 1.7%, from 701 to 712 cases per 100,000 population in 1990 and 2016, respectively. In 2016, more women than men had dementia (27 million vs 16.8 million); dementia was the fifth leading cause of death and accounted for 2.4 million deaths. A total of 28.8 million DALYs were attributable to dementia; 6.4 million were attributed to high body mass index, high fasting plasma glucose, smoking, and a diet high in sugar-sweetened beverages.

“By 2050, the number of people living with dementia could be around 100 million,” the authors write. “Tackling this will require training of health professionals, as well as planning and building facilities to cater to increasing numbers of individuals with dementia.”

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Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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