India has world’s largest no of elderly affected by Dementia:Report

3.7 million older population living with dementia in India


Geetanjali Minhas | September 19, 2011

With one dementia case every seven seconds in the world, India will have largest number of elders affected by the disease. Every five years of life the number of older persons affected with dementia double and India will have one of the largest numbers of elders with this problem.

As per Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) World Report, 2010, 36 million people are living with Alzheimer’s and related disorders globally. By 2040 over 82 million elderly people are expected to have Alzheimer’s Disease if the current numbers hold and no preventive treatments become available.

According to the current estimates of 3 percent of elderly population in India, about 3.7 million persons  are affected by dementia (2.1 million women and 1.5 million men). This figure will double to around 7 million people by 2030.

In a first ever authenticated study undertaken in a developing country conducted by Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India (ARDSI ), the country status report on Dementia, “The Dementia India Report 2010” says, “ By 2026 more than 500,000 older PwD (persons with dementia) are expected to be living in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra while in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Bihar, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, PwD will be around 20,000 to 40,000 within the next 26 years.

The cost of caring that has been conservatively estimated at Rs. 14,700 Crores at present  will increase three times as the numbers are expected to double by 2030 cost will also increase three times.

“Compared to 2006, Delhi, Bihar and Jharkhand are expected to experience 200 percent (or greater) increment in total number of dementia cases over 26-year period. States like Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Uttaranchal, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are expected to experience 100 percent (or more) change in number of older PwD” notes the study.

“By the year 2026, more than 50 percent of PwD in India are expected to be living in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and less than 20 percent will be seen in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and North East states” the report adds.

The increased numbers of PwD will have a marked impact on the states’ infrastructures and healthcare systems, which are ill prepared in many regions and also on families and careers. These alarming figures are a call to action. Government must start to plan policy and allocate health and welfare resources for the future. There has to be fundamental awareness among policy makers, clinicians and the public and more community based services, welfare and support at an accelerated pace.

To celebrate the World  Alzhiemer's Day on 21st September, a series of programme’s to create awareness about dementia are being held at TISS, Nirmala Niketan College of Social Work, SNDT Juhu and other places across Mumbai by ARDSI & Silver Inning Foundation. ARDSI also plans to hold a national campaign.



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