The Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 has been published today by the Lancet. It describes the global distribution and causes of a wide array of major diseases, injuries, and health risk factors.

In the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010: Global and regional mortality from 235 causes of death for 20 age groups in 1990 and 2010 it highlights that deaths from Alzheimer's disease and other dementia has risen more than three-fold.

The study has taken more than five years and involves 486 authors in 50 different countries. It is the first assessment of global data on disease, injuries, and risk, since the first global burden of disease study was commissioned by the World Bank in 1990.

The work was led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, with other collaborating institutions including the University of Queensland, the Harvard School of Public Health, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the University of Tokyo, Imperial College London, and the World Health Organization.

Alzheimer's Society comment:

'This study reaffirms the fact that dementia is one of the biggest health challenges of our generation, not just in the UK, but globally. With numbers of people with the condition in the UK expected to soar to over a million in the next decade, the rates we are seeing today are likely to be a fraction of the numbers in future. At the same time, the increase could also be a sign of greater medical understanding and recording of dementia which is something that has to be welcomed.

'One in three people over 65 will develop dementia. Yet we know many people are currently not living well with the condition. This study highlights that dementia cannot be ignored. We must strive to enable people to live well today and to die with dignity, while we continue to fight for a world without dementia tomorrow.'

Andrew Chidgey
Director of External Affairs
Alzheimer's Society