Deaths due to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias have jumped more than threefold worldwide since 1990, according to the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Published December 13 in the Lancet, the study is the first in more than two decades to examine the incidence of major diseases, injuries, and health risk factors around the globe. It finds that while fewer children perish every year than 20 years ago, adults are now suffering more from non-infectious diseases such as cancer and heart disease. In addition, dementia is becoming more common as more people reach old age.

“Due to rapid rises in the numbers of older people worldwide, … deaths attributable to dementia are on the rise,” wrote Martin Prince, King's College London, in an e-mail to Alzforum. Some regions are likely to be hit harder than others, he added. “Rates of increase are likely to be sharpest in middle income countries where population aging is currently happening most rapidly.”

Why else might dementia rates be climbing? Correct diagnosis could be key, said Hugh Hendrie, Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. As more and more people reach the age of 65 in developing countries, awareness of dementia has grown and the condition has worked its way up physicians' priority lists, he told Alzforum. “With demographic changes, these countries are beginning to recognize that dementia is a big problem,” Hendrie said. “Think of the staggering burden on the healthcare systems in developing countries that do not have adequate resources.” In addition, upsurges of diseases such as diabetes and hypertension could exacerbate the dementia risk.

Last published in 1990, the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBDS) outlines disease distribution by age, sex, and region. It aims to raise awareness about leading diseases and help countries outline their national health priorities. In total, the report includes seven papers that examine 235 causes of death and 67 risk factors—everything from neonatal issues and nutrition to infectious diseases and aging disorders. The entire report took five years to complete and was conducted by 486 researchers from 302 institutions around the globe. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, Seattle, served as coordinator, working with six other core institutions: Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland; the University of Queensland, Australia; Imperial College London; the University of Tokyo; and the World Health Organization. While 20 years separated the first and second of these studies, a new design allows the GBDS to be updated more frequently in the future.—Gwyneth Dickey Zakaib.

References:
Wang H, Dwyer-Lindgren L, Lofgren KT, Rajaratnam JK, Marcus JR, Levin-Rector A, Levitz CE, Lopez AD, Murray CJL. Age-specific and sex-specific mortality in 187 countries, 1970–2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. The Lancet, 2012 December 15; 380 (9859): 2071-94. Abstract

Lozano R, Naghavi M, Foreman K, Lim S, Shibuya K, Aboyans V, Abraham J, Adair T, Aggarwal R, Ahn SY, Alvarado M, Anderson HR, Anderson LM, Andrews KG, Atkinson C, Baddour LM, Barker-Collo S, Bartels DH, Bell ML, Benjamin EJ, Bennett D, Bhalla K, Bikbov B, Abdulhak AB, Birbeck G, Blyth F, Bolliger I, Boufous S, Bucello C, Burch M, Burney P, Carapetis J, Chen H, Chou D, Chugh SS, Coffeng LE, Colan SD, Colquhoun S, Colson KE, Condon J, Connor MD, Cooper LT, Corriere M, Cortinovis M, de Vaccaro KC, Couser W, Cowie BC, Criqui MH, Cross M, Dabhadkar KC, Dahodwala N, De Leo D, Degenhardt L, Delossantos A, Des Jarlais DC, Dharmaratne SD, Dorsey ER, Driscoll T, Duber H, Ebel B, Erwin PJ, Espindola P, Ezzati M, Feigin V, Flaxman AD, Forouzanfar MH, Fowkes FG, Franklin R, Fransen M, Freeman MK, Gabriel SE, Gakidou E, Gaspari F, Gillum RF, Gonzalez-Medina D, Halasa YA, Haring D, Harrison JE, Havmoeller R, Hay RJ, Hotez PJ, Hoy D, Jacobsen KH, James SL, Jasrasaria R, Jayaraman S, Johns N, Karthikeyan G, Kassebaum N, Keren A, Khoo JP, Knowlton LM, Kobusingye O, Koranteng A, Krishnamurthi R, Lipnick M, Lipshultz SE, Ohno SL, Mabweijano J, Macintyre MF, Mallinger L, March L, Marks GB, Marks R, Matsumori A, Matzopoulos R, Mayosi BM, McAnulty JH, McDermott MM, McGrath J, Mensah GA, Merriman TR, Michaud C, Miller M, Miller TR, Mock C, Mocumbi AO, Mokdad AA, Moran A, Mulholland K, Nair MN, Naldi L, Narayan KM, Nasseri K, Norman P, O'DONNell M, Omer SB, Ortblad K, Osborne R, Ozgediz D, Pahari B, Pandian JD, Rivero AP, Padilla RP, Perez-Ruiz F, Perico N, Phillips D, Pierce K, Pope CA, Porrini E, Pourmalek F, Raju M, Ranganathan D, Rehm JT, Rein DB, Remuzzi G, Rivara FP, Roberts T, De León FR, Rosenfeld LC, Rushton L, Sacco RL, Salomon JA, Sampson U, Sanman E, Schwebel DC, Segui-Gomez M, Shepard DS, Singh D, Singleton J, Sliwa K, Smith E, Steer A, Taylor JA, Thomas B, Tleyjeh IM, Towbin JA, Truelsen T, Undurraga EA, Venketasubramanian N, Vijayakumar L, Vos T, Wagner GR, Wang M, Wang W, Watt K, Weinstock MA, Weintraub R, Wilkinson JD, Woolf AD, Wulf S, Yeh PH, Yip P, Zabetian A, Zheng ZJ, Lopez AD, Murray CJ, Denenberg J, Hoen B. Global and regional mortality from 235 causes of death for 20 age groups in 1990 and 2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet. 2013 Dec 15;380(9859):2095-128. Global and regional mortality from 235 causes of death for 20 age groups in 1990 and 2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. The Lancet, 2012 December 15; 380 (9859): 2095-2128. Abstract

Salomon JA, Vos T, Hogan DR, Gagnon M, Naghavi M, Mokdad A, Begum N, Shah R, Karyana M, Kosen S, Farje MR, Moncada G, Dutta A, Sazawal S, Dyer A, Seiler J, Aboyans V, Baker L, Baxter A, Benjamin EJ, Bhalla K, Abdulhak AB, Blyth F, Bourne R, Braithwaite T, Brooks P, Brugha TS, Bryan-Hancock C, Buchbinder R, Burney P, Calabria B, Chen H, Chugh SS, Cooley R, Criqui MH, Cross M, Dabhadkar KC, Dahodwala N, Davis A, Degenhardt L, Díaz-Torné C, Dorsey ER, Driscoll T, Edmond K, Elbaz A, Ezzati M, Feigin V, Ferri CP, Flaxman AD, Flood L, Fransen M, Fuse K, Gabbe BJ, Gillum RF, Haagsma J, Harrison JE, Havmoeller R, Hay RJ, Hel-Baqui A, Hoek HW, Hoffman H, Hogeland E, Hoy D, Jarvis D, Karthikeyan G, Knowlton LM, Lathlean T, Leasher JL, Lim SS, Lipshultz SE, Lopez AD, Lozano R, Lyons R, Malekzadeh R, Marcenes W, March L, Margolis DJ, McGill N, McGrath J, Mensah GA, Meyer AC, Michaud C, Moran A, Mori R, Murdoch ME, Naldi L, Newton CR, Norman R, Omer SB, Osborne R, Pearce N, Perez-Ruiz F, Perico N, Pesudovs K, Phillips D, Pourmalek F, Prince M, Rehm JT, Remuzzi G, Richardson K, Room R, Saha S, Sampson U, Sanchez-Riera L, Segui-Gomez M, Shahraz S, Shibuya K, Singh D, Sliwa K, Smith E, Soerjomataram I, Steiner T, Stolk WA, Stovner LJ, Sudfeld C, Taylor HR, Tleyjeh IM, van der Werf MJ, Watson WL, Weatherall DJ, Weintraub R, Weisskopf MG, Whiteford H, Wilkinson JD, Woolf AD, Zheng ZJ, Murray CJ. Common values in assessing health outcomes from disease and injury: disability weights measurement study for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. The Lancet, 2012 December 15; 380 (9859): 2129-2143. Abstract

Salomon JA, Wang H, Freeman MK, Vos T, Flaxman AD, Lopez AD, Murray CJL. Healthy life expectancy for 187 countries, 1990–2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden Disease Study 2010. The Lancet, 2012 December 15; 380 (9859): 2144-2162. Abstract

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Murray CJ, Vos T, Lozano R, Naghavi M, Flaxman AD, Michaud C, Ezzati M, Shibuya K, Salomon JA, Abdalla S, Aboyans V, Abraham J, Ackerman I, Aggarwal R, Ahn SY, Ali MK, Alvarado M, Anderson HR, Anderson LM, Andrews KG, Atkinson C, Baddour LM, Bahalim AN, Barker-Collo S, Barrero LH, Bartels DH, Basáñez MG, Baxter A, Bell ML, Benjamin EJ, Bennett D, Bernabé E, Bhalla K, Bhandari B, Bikbov B, Abdulhak AB, Birbeck G, Black JA, Blencowe H, Blore JD, Blyth F, Bolliger I, Bonaventure A, Boufous S, Bourne R, Boussinesq M, Braithwaite T, Brayne C, Bridgett L, Brooker S, Brooks P, Brugha TS, Bryan-Hancock C, Bucello C, Buchbinder R, Buckle G, Budke CM, Burch M, Burney P, Burstein R, Calabria B, Campbell B, Canter CE, Carabin H, Carapetis J, Carmona L, Cella C, Charlson F, Chen H, Cheng AT, Chou D, Chugh SS, Coffeng LE, Colan SD, Colquhoun S, Colson KE, Condon J, Connor MD, Cooper LT, Corriere M, Cortinovis M, de Vaccaro KC, Couser W, Cowie BC, Criqui MH, Cross M, Dabhadkar KC, Dahiya M, Dahodwala N, Damsere-Derry J, Danaei G, Davis A, De Leo D, Degenhardt L, Dellavalle R, Delossantos A, Denenberg J, Derrett S, Des Jarlais DC, Dharmaratne SD, Dherani M, Diaz-Torne C, Dolk H, Dorsey ER, Driscoll T, Duber H, Ebel B, Edmond K, Elbaz A, Ali SE, Erskine H, Erwin PJ, Espindola P, Ewoigbokhan SE, Farzadfar F, Feigin V, Felson DT, Ferrari A, Ferri CP, Fèvre EM, Finucane MM, Flaxman S, Flood L, Foreman K, Forouzanfar MH, Fowkes FG, Fransen M, Freeman MK, Gabbe BJ, Gabriel SE, Gakidou E, Ganatra HA, Garcia B, Gaspari F, Gillum RF, Gmel G, Gonzalez-Medina D, Gosselin R, Grainger R, Groeger J, Guillemin F, Gunnell D, Gupta R, Haagsma J, Hagan H, Halasa YA, Hall W, Haring D, Haro JM, Harrison JE, Havmoeller R, Hay RJ, Higashi H, Hill C, Hoen B, Hoffman H, Hotez PJ, Hoy D, Huang JJ, Ibeanusi SE, Jacobsen KH, James SL, Jarvis D, Jasrasaria R, Jayaraman S, Johns N, Jonas JB, Karthikeyan G, Kassebaum N, Kawakami N, Keren A, Khoo JP, King CH, Knowlton LM, Kobusingye O, Koranteng A, Krishnamurthi R, Laden F, Lalloo R, Laslett LL, Lathlean T, Leasher JL, Lee YY, Leigh J, Levinson D, Lim SS, Limb E, Lin JK, Lipnick M, Lipshultz SE, Liu W, Loane M, Ohno SL, Lyons R, Mabweijano J, Macintyre MF, Malekzadeh R, Mallinger L, Manivannan S, Marcenes W, March L, Margolis DJ, Marks GB, Marks R, Matsumori A, Matzopoulos R, Mayosi BM, McAnulty JH, McDermott MM, McGill N, McGrath J, Medina-Mora ME, Meltzer M, Mensah GA, Merriman TR, Meyer AC, Miglioli V, Miller M, Miller TR, Mitchell PB, Mock C, Mocumbi AO, Moffitt TE, Mokdad AA, Monasta L, Montico M, Moradi-Lakeh M, Moran A, Morawska L, Mori R, Murdoch ME, Mwaniki MK, Naidoo K, Nair MN, Naldi L, Narayan KM, Nelson PK, Nelson RG, Nevitt MC, Newton CR, Nolte S, Norman P, Norman R, O'Donnell M, O'Hanlon S, Olives C, Omer SB, Ortblad K, Osborne R, Ozgediz D, Page A, Pahari B, Pandian JD, Rivero AP, Patten SB, Pearce N, Padilla RP, Perez-Ruiz F, Perico N, Pesudovs K, Phillips D, Phillips MR, Pierce K, Pion S, Polanczyk GV, Polinder S, Pope CA 3rd, Popova S, Porrini E, Pourmalek F, Prince M, Pullan RL, Ramaiah KD, Ranganathan D, Razavi H, Regan M, Rehm JT, Rein DB, Remuzzi G, Richardson K, Rivara FP, Roberts T, Robinson C, De Leòn FR, Ronfani L, Room R, Rosenfeld LC, Rushton L, Sacco RL, Saha S, Sampson U, Sanchez-Riera L, Sanman E, Schwebel DC, Scott JG, Segui-Gomez M, Shahraz S, Shepard DS, Shin H, Shivakoti R, Singh D, Singh GM, Singh JA, Singleton J, Sleet DA, Sliwa K, Smith E, Smith JL, Stapelberg NJ, Steer A, Steiner T, Stolk WA, Stovner LJ, Sudfeld C, Syed S, Tamburlini G, Tavakkoli M, Taylor HR, Taylor JA, Taylor WJ, Thomas B, Thomson WM, Thurston GD, Tleyjeh IM, Tonelli M, Towbin JA, Truelsen T, Tsilimbaris MK, Ubeda C, Undurraga EA, van der Werf MJ, van Os J, Vavilala MS, Venketasubramanian N, Wang M, Wang W, Watt K, Weatherall DJ, Weinstock MA, Weintraub R, Weisskopf MG, Weissman MM, White RA, Whiteford H, Wiebe N, Wiersma ST, Wilkinson JD, Williams HC, Williams SR, Witt E, Wolfe F, Woolf AD, Wulf S, Yeh PH, Zaidi AK, Zheng ZJ, Zonies D, Lopez AD, Grant B. Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) for 291 diseases and injuries in 21 regions, 1990–2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. The Lancet, 2012 December 15; 380 (9859): 2197-2223. Abstract

Lim SS, Vos T, Flaxman AD, Danaei G, Shibuya K, Adair-Rohani H, Amann M, Anderson HR, Andrews KG, Aryee M, Atkinson C, Bacchus LJ, Bahalim AN, Balakrishnan K, Balmes J, Barker-Collo S, Baxter A, Bell ML, Blore JD, Blyth F, Bonner C, Borges G, Bourne R, Boussinesq M, Brauer M, Brooks P, Bruce NG, Brunekreef B, Bryan-Hancock C, Bucello C, Buchbinder R, Bull F, Burnett RT, Byers TE, Calabria B, Carapetis J, Carnahan E, Chafe Z, Charlson F, Chen H, Chen JS, Cheng AT, Child JC, Cohen A, Colson KE, Cowie BC, Darby S, Darling S, Davis A, Degenhardt L, Dentener F, Des Jarlais DC, Devries K, Dherani M, Ding EL, Dorsey ER, Driscoll T, Edmond K, Ali SE, Engell RE, Erwin PJ, Fahimi S, Falder G, Farzadfar F, Ferrari A, Finucane MM, Flaxman S, Fowkes FG, Freedman G, Freeman MK, Gakidou E, Ghosh S, Giovannucci E, Gmel G, Graham K, Grainger R, Grant B, Gunnell D, Gutierrez HR, Hall W, Hoek HW, Hogan A, Hosgood HD 3rd, Hoy D, Hu H, Hubbell BJ, Hutchings SJ, Ibeanusi SE, Jacklyn GL, Jasrasaria R, Jonas JB, Kan H, Kanis JA, Kassebaum N, Kawakami N, Khang YH, Khatibzadeh S, Khoo JP, Kok C, Laden F, Lalloo R, Lan Q, Lathlean T, Leasher JL, Leigh J, Li Y, Lin JK, Lipshultz SE, London S, Lozano R, Lu Y, Mak J, Malekzadeh R, Mallinger L, Marcenes W, March L, Marks R, Martin R, McGale P, McGrath J, Mehta S, Mensah GA, Merriman TR, Micha R, Michaud C, Mishra V, Hanafiah KM, Mokdad AA, Morawska L, Mozaffarian D, Murphy T, Naghavi M, Neal B, Nelson PK, Nolla JM, Norman R, Olives C, Omer SB, Orchard J, Osborne R, Ostro B, Page A, Pandey KD, Parry CD, Passmore E, Patra J, Pearce N, Pelizzari PM, Petzold M, Phillips MR, Pope D, Pope CA 3rd, Powles J, Rao M, Razavi H, Rehfuess EA, Rehm JT, Ritz B, Rivara FP, Roberts T, Robinson C, Rodriguez-Portales JA, Romieu I, Room R, Rosenfeld LC, Roy A, Rushton L, Salomon JA, Sampson U, Sanchez-Riera L, Sanman E, Sapkota A, Seedat S, Shi P, Shield K, Shivakoti R, Singh GM, Sleet DA, Smith E, Smith KR, Stapelberg NJ, Steenland K, Stöckl H, Stovner LJ, Straif K, Straney L, Thurston GD, Tran JH, Van Dingenen R, van Donkelaar A, Veerman JL, Vijayakumar L, Weintraub R, Weissman MM, White RA, Whiteford H, Wiersma ST, Wilkinson JD, Williams HC, Williams W, Wilson N, Woolf AD, Yip P, Zielinski JM, Lopez AD, Murray CJ, Ezzati M. A comparative risk assessment of burden of disease and injury attributable to 67 risk factors and risk factor clusters in 21 regions, 1990-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. The Lancet, 2012 December 15; 380 (9859): 2224-2260. Abstract

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  1. The largest contributor to dementia's expansion is that, worldwide, people are living longer. When you have four times the number of people in the older age groups (projected for the middle of the century), you automatically will have four times the number of people with dementia unless we find something to stem the tide. Early diagnosis promotes the expansion somewhat, but not as much as the shifting population age structure. We no longer have a pyramid structure to the population, with fewer older adults relative to younger, but more of a rectangle with a burgeoning at the older ages.

    It has been shown that if we could find something to delay AD dementia, we would have fewer cases. For example, even a delay of two years on average would reduce the U.S. burden of dementia by at least a couple of million people.

References

Paper Citations

  1. . Age-specific and sex-specific mortality in 187 countries, 1970-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet. 2013 Dec 15;380(9859):2071-94. PubMed.
  2. . Global and regional mortality from 235 causes of death for 20 age groups in 1990 and 2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet. 2012 Dec 15;380(9859):2095-128. PubMed.
  3. . Common values in assessing health outcomes from disease and injury: disability weights measurement study for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet. 2012 Dec 15;380(9859):2129-43. PubMed.
  4. . Healthy life expectancy for 187 countries, 1990-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden Disease Study 2010. Lancet. 2013 Dec 15;380(9859):2144-62. PubMed.
  5. . Years lived with disability (YLDs) for 1160 sequelae of 289 diseases and injuries 1990-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet. 2013 Dec 15;380(9859):2163-96. PubMed.
  6. . Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) for 291 diseases and injuries in 21 regions, 1990-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet. 2013 Dec 15;380(9859):2197-223. PubMed.
  7. . A comparative risk assessment of burden of disease and injury attributable to 67 risk factors and risk factor clusters in 21 regions, 1990-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet. 2013 Dec 15;380(9859):2224-60. PubMed.

External Citations

  1. Global Burden of Disease Study 2010

Further Reading

Papers

  1. . The macroeconomics of dementia-will the world economy get Alzheimer's disease?. Arch Med Res. 2012 Nov;43(8):705-9. PubMed.
  2. . Contribution of chronic diseases to disability in elderly people in countries with low and middle incomes: a 10/66 Dementia Research Group population-based survey. Lancet. 2009 Nov 28;374(9704):1821-30. PubMed.
  3. . Tobacco use and dementia: evidence from the 1066 dementia population-based surveys in Latin America, China and India. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2011 Feb 9; PubMed.
  4. . Common values in assessing health outcomes from disease and injury: disability weights measurement study for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet. 2012 Dec 15;380(9859):2129-43. PubMed.
  5. . Age-specific and sex-specific mortality in 187 countries, 1970-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet. 2013 Dec 15;380(9859):2071-94. PubMed.
  6. . Global and regional mortality from 235 causes of death for 20 age groups in 1990 and 2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet. 2012 Dec 15;380(9859):2095-128. PubMed.
  7. . Healthy life expectancy for 187 countries, 1990-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden Disease Study 2010. Lancet. 2013 Dec 15;380(9859):2144-62. PubMed.
  8. . Years lived with disability (YLDs) for 1160 sequelae of 289 diseases and injuries 1990-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet. 2013 Dec 15;380(9859):2163-96. PubMed.
  9. . Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) for 291 diseases and injuries in 21 regions, 1990-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet. 2013 Dec 15;380(9859):2197-223. PubMed.
  10. . A comparative risk assessment of burden of disease and injury attributable to 67 risk factors and risk factor clusters in 21 regions, 1990-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet. 2013 Dec 15;380(9859):2224-60. PubMed.

Primary Papers

  1. . Common values in assessing health outcomes from disease and injury: disability weights measurement study for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet. 2012 Dec 15;380(9859):2129-43. PubMed.
  2. . Age-specific and sex-specific mortality in 187 countries, 1970-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet. 2013 Dec 15;380(9859):2071-94. PubMed.
  3. . Global and regional mortality from 235 causes of death for 20 age groups in 1990 and 2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet. 2012 Dec 15;380(9859):2095-128. PubMed.
  4. . Healthy life expectancy for 187 countries, 1990-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden Disease Study 2010. Lancet. 2013 Dec 15;380(9859):2144-62. PubMed.
  5. . Years lived with disability (YLDs) for 1160 sequelae of 289 diseases and injuries 1990-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet. 2013 Dec 15;380(9859):2163-96. PubMed.
  6. . Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) for 291 diseases and injuries in 21 regions, 1990-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet. 2013 Dec 15;380(9859):2197-223. PubMed.
  7. . A comparative risk assessment of burden of disease and injury attributable to 67 risk factors and risk factor clusters in 21 regions, 1990-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet. 2013 Dec 15;380(9859):2224-60. PubMed.