Dementia is Now Second Leading Causes of Death In Australia, ABS Reports

By @hyaluronidase on
Dementia is now a top killer disease in Australia
Maria Rosa, 70, a patient with Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia, and former business administrator, poses for a photograph inside the Alzheimer Foundation in Mexico city, April 19, 2012. Alzheimer's is a progressive, degenerative disease that robs people of memory, reasoning and the ability to communicate. Reuters/Edgard Garrido

Statistics has revealed that dementia and Alzheimer’s have taken the second place on the top list of causes of death in Australia. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported that deaths due to dementia have increased and the number is still on the rise.

ABS provided evidence of the current trends of causes of deaths. According to the report, dementia deaths are increasing in Australia, placing second following heart disease.

There are 20,046 heart disease deaths reported in 2012, but the number has dropped since 2003. “Heart disease accounted for 14 per cent of all deaths in 2012 compared to 19 per cent of all deaths in 2003," said ABS Director of the Health and Vitals Statistics Unit James Eynstone-Hinkins.

On the other hand, death cases due to dementia have increased. Eleven thousand deaths were recorded in 2013, and the number has increased by 30 per cent within five years. According to chief executive of Alzheimer’s Australia, Carol Bennett, 342,000 Australians are affected by the condition. She said that dementia was once the third-leading cause of death but has moved up the second place in just a year.

“That’s a massive increase,” Bennett said. She believes that if more investment will be put on health care for the ageing population, dementia would not greatly affect the public health system. Old age is the biggest risk factor for Alzheimer, said Bennett. The elderly population in Australia is expected to triple by year 2050.

In ABS’s report on causes of death, suicide remains as one of top 10 causes of death in Australian men, as well as that of normal healthy kids in the age range of 5 and 17 years. Overall, suicide accounts for the highest case of premature death, while dementia and Alzheimer’s placed 18th on that perspective because they are conditions that affect people later in life. 

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