Australians are more likely to die of dementia than almost any other disease – with the exception of heart disease. The recent release of new data confirms dementia remains the leading cause of death of women and the second leading cause of death of all Australians.
According to the Causes of Death 2018 data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, cause of death by heart disease has decreased by 22.4 per cent since 2009 while dementia rates have increased by 68.6 per cent in the same period.
Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said without a major medical breakthrough this trend is likely to continue, with the report stating that dementia will become the leading cause of death in coming years.
“With more than 447,000 Australians currently living with dementia, and the number expected to increase to almost 1.1 million by 2058, dementia is the chronic disease of the 21st century,” Ms McCabe said.
“Australian and international research shows there is a lack of knowledge about dementia and the global World Alzheimer Report released on 21 September 2019 reveals a staggering 95 per cent of people think they will develop dementia in their lifetime.
“While age is a risk factor, dementia is not a normal part of ageing.
“It is a progressive and, ultimately, terminal disease.
“With a lack of understanding comes discrimination. People living with dementia share with us the impact that discrimination has on their everyday life.
“Discrimination around dementia is a potential barrier between major breakthroughs in research and funding that could improve the lives of people living with dementia.
“Hence our focus on discrimination during Dementia Action Week last week, with the theme – Dementia doesn’t discriminate. Do you?”