CFAS has examined dementia in older people aged 65+ for over two decades. By measuring dementia across 3 sites in the UK (Cambridgeshire, Nottingham and Newcastle) using identical methods across two decades, we report a 20% drop in incidence (95% CI: 0–40%), driven by a reduction in men across all ages above 65. There have been major changes in health in people aged 65 and over during this period, with longer life and reductions in risk factors (e.g. smoking), increases in protective factors (e.g. education) and better management of some health conditions. In the UK we estimate 209,600 new dementia cases per year. This study was uniquely designed to test for differences across geography and time. A reduction of age-specific incidence means that the numbers of people estimated to develop dementia in any year has remained relatively stable.
“Our findings suggest that brain health is improving significantly in the UK across generations, particularly among men, but that deprivation is still putting people at a disadvantage. The UK in earlier eras has seen major societal investments into improving population health and this appears to be helping protect older people from dementia.” – Professor Carol Brayne.
Follow the links below to read about our findings in the media: