It is a truth universally acknowledged that dementia is now a major global public health issue, set to increase as the world population ages (Ferri et al. 2005). A recent global cost of illness study suggested a “base case option” figure of US $604 billion, equivalent to the 18th largest national economy in the world (between Turkey and Indonesia) and larger than the revenue of the world’s largest companies (Wal-Mart, Exxon Mobil). In high-income countries, which accounted for 89% of the costs but only 46% of dementia prevalence, this is mostly due to direct costs of social care, while in low- and middle-income countries, which accounted for only 11% of the costs but 54% of dementia prevalence, this is mostly due to informal care costs (Wimo and Prince 2010). The need to address these issues is obvious, from the human as well as the economic standpoint, and will require governments to make dementia a priority, with the development of policies, investment in chronic care, and funding of research.
KeywordsVascular Cognitive Impairment Dementia Diagnosis Referral Letter Exxon Mobil Dementia Prevalence
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