Dementia 'costing £23bn a year'

Dementia costs the country £23 billion per year and more than cancer and heart disease combined but receives a fraction of the funding, according to a "wake-up call" report out today.

The number of sufferers at 822,000 is also 17 per cent higher than has previously been estimated and will pass the one million mark before 2025, the Alzheimer's Research Trust (ART) said.



Revealing stark differences in research funding, it calculated that for every pound spent on dementia studies, £12 is spent on investigating cancer and £3 on heart disease.



Rebecca Wood, chief executive of the ART, called for greater resources to fight the condition, saying: "The true impact of dementia has been ignored for too long.



"The UK's dementia crisis is worse than we feared. This report shows that dementia is the greatest medical challenge of the 21st century."



She added: "If we spend a more proportionate sum on dementia research, we could unleash the full potential of our scientists in their race for a cure.



"Spending millions now really can save us crippling multi-billion pound care bills later."



According to the report, which was prepared with experts from Oxford University, dementia's overall annual cost dwarfs the £12 billion cost for cancer care and the £8 billion for heart disease.



The £23 billion is made up of £9 billion in social care costs, £12 billion in unpaid care and £1.2 billion in health care costs.



Each dementia patient costs the economy £27,647 each year, researchers found, nearly five times more than a cancer patient and eight times more than someone suffering from heart disease.



The expense is driven mainly by the extent of unpaid carers and long-term institutional care - in contrast to cancer and heart disease whose costs are mainly taken care of by the NHS.



Big differences in research funding were also revealed in the study, called the Dementia 2010 report.



At £590 million, cancer research funding is 12 times the £50 million devoted to dementia, while heart disease received more than three times as much. Only stroke research received less.



The report calculated that £295 is spent on research for every person with cancer, compared with just £61 for each person with dementia.



Alastair Gray, professor of health economics at Oxford University and report author, contrasted the perception of the disease with cancer.



He said: "Many of us know people who have had cancer or heart disease but have been successfully treated and survived, so there is a perception that something can be done, and that more research will allow even more to be done.



"In contrast there are no cures for dementia at present; there are not even many ways of delaying it or slowing it down, so there may well be a feeling of inevitability surrounding it.



"However the lack of of effective treatments is surely an argument for devoting more effort to research, not less."



The report also documents a "diagnosis gap", between the expected number of people with dementia and the number of patients with dementia on GP registers.



In England, it is estimated only 31% of people with dementia are registered on GP lists.



Reasons for the low rate include GPs' lack of training and low confidence in diagnosing dementia.



Health minister Phil Hope said on BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I would fully agree that dementia is one of the most important issues we face as a population, particularly as more and more people are living longer.



"I want to see a step-change increase in the volume, the quality and the impact of dementia research going forward.



"We have identified the importance of research in the dementia strategy I published last year. We convened a dementia summit bringing together the top researchers from across the country and abroad.



"We have identified the key areas we need to take forward around the causes for dementia and the possible cures for it and how we can better care for people, to help them live well with dementia."

News
Actor Burt Reynolds last year
peopleBurt Reynolds, once among the most bankable actors in Hollywood, is set to auction his memorabilia
News
Gordon and Tana Ramsay arrive at the High Court, London
newsTV chef gives evidence against his father-in-law in court case
News
people

Watch the spoof Thanksgiving segment filmed for Live!
News
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of The Guest Cat – expect to see it everywhere
books'It's a simple, sweet and charming tale; it’s very heartfelt'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
One of the installations in the Reiner Ruthenbeck exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery
artCritics defend Reiner Ruthenbeck's 'Overturned Furniture'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Opilio Recruitment: UX & Design Specialist

    £40k - 45k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...

    Opilio Recruitment: Publishing Application Support Analyst

    £30k - 35k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We’re currently re...

    Opilio Recruitment: Digital Marketing Manager

    £35k - 45k per year + benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...

    Opilio Recruitment: Sales Manager

    £60k - 80k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

    Christmas Appeal

    Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
    Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

    Is it always right to try to prolong life?

    Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

    What does it take for women to get to the top?

    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
    Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

    Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

    Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
    French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

    French chefs campaign against bullying

    A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

    Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
    Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

    Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

    Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
    Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

    Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

    Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
    Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

    Paul Scholes column

    I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
    Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game