Researchers: Twice as many Norwegians will have dementia in 30 years

Pensioner - elderly - oldPhoto: CDC / Unsplash
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A study by researchers at the University of Oslo predicts that the number of Norwegians suffering from dementia will double in the next 30 years.

Geir Selbæk, professor at UiO and head of research at the National Competence Center for Aging and Health, has – together with colleagues – conducted the first representative study on dementia in Norway.

According to the study, 101,000 Norwegians have dementia today, which is far more than previously estimated. In the past, the estimate used by the authorities when planning for future needs in the health care system has been 78,000.

“As a basis for decision-making, this represents a major shift. In almost 30 years, almost 240,000 Norwegians will have dementia, i.e., far more than a doubling compared to today, and far more than previous projections,” Selbæk told Apollon.uio.no.

He noted that the number of dementia cases is rising because people are living longer.

“Dementia is not part of a natural aging process. Dementia is a disease of the brain that becomes more common the older we get. Our study shows that dementia increases almost exponentially with age. Among those between 70 and 74 years, 5% have dementia. Among those over 90 years, 50% have dementia,” Selbæk said.

Although the number of people with dementia is expected to rise, the proportion is expected to decline. According to Selbæk, this is because today’s 90-year-olds have, on average, lived a life that is a little healthier than those who were 90 years old 10 or 20 years ago.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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