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UK’s presidency of G8 Summit to focus on dementia

Dementia costs equate to 1% of world’s gross domestic product

Jo Carlowe

Thursday, 16 May 2013

The G8 dementia summit will be held in London in September, bringing together health and science ministers alongside world-leading experts, senior industry figures and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The event will look to secure more coordination and collaboration on dementia globally.

Prime Minister David Cameron said the summit was in recognition of the condition fast becoming the biggest pressure on care systems around the world.

Current estimates indicate 35.6 million people worldwide are living with dementia but with the world’s populations ageing, the World Health Organization estimates that number will nearly double every 20 years, to an estimated 65.7 million in 2030, and 115.4 million in 2050.

The September meeting will focus on the UK’s life sciences sector and initiatives such a genomics and dementia research.

Commenting on the summit, David Cameron said: “Dementia is a devastating disease - not just for sufferers but for their families and friends too. And as more people live longer, it is fast becoming one of the biggest social and healthcare challenges we face.

“Families, communities, health systems and their budgets will increasingly be strained as the number affected increases and so we need to do all we can to improve how we research, diagnose and treat the disease.

“That’s why we’re using our G8 to bring together health ministers, clinical researchers and healthcare companies. If the brightest minds are working together on this then we’ve got a greater chance of improving treatments and finding scientific breakthroughs.”

The total estimated worldwide costs of dementia spending are around £400billion (US$ 604bn) in 2010 - around 1% of the world’s gross domestic product - and £23bn in the UK. This is likely to increase as the number of people with dementia rises year on year.

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