The number of persons with dementia is between 84,000 and 104,000, according to a recent report from the National Institute of Public Health, but the figures are uncertain.
In the report “Prevalence of Mental Health in Norway”, written by the Ministry of Health and Care Services (HOD), the Public Health Institute (FHI) points out that the prevalence of dementia is higher than previously thought. According to FHI, it has been common to assume that approximately 70,000 people, or 1.4 percent of the population suffer from dementia in Norway. That estimate is based on a single survey done in the Netherlands 20 years ago.
“The numbers we have on dementia are not good and it’s a challenge that we do not have Norwegian numbers. We have now increased the estimate from 70,000 to between 84,000 and 104,000,” says Anne Reneflot, Department Director at the Department of Mental Health at FHI to NTB.
More older people
Both in Norway and internationally, an increase in the number of cases has been expected. The reason being that both general population growth and an increase in life expectancy makes it that there is more and more older people.
Research Director Geir Selbæk at the National Competence Service for Aging and Health points out that the uncertain figures make it difficult to plan work on dementia.
“There is currently a population survey underway in Norway on dementia that will be completed in spring 2019. Only then we will know more and get a Norwegian number overview and this will be for the first time in this regard,” he says.
According to Selbæk, the proportion of elderly who get dementia may be on the way down, even though the number increases.
– “Several surveys internationally indicate that the proportion of dementia among the elderly is falling. There is no clear reason why that is the case. One possible explanation is the reduction in the occurrence of a number of risk factors, such as high blood pressure. We have seen better care of cardiovascular disease, and better blood flow to the brain. Overall, this may have something to say,” he says.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today