Alzheimer's disease in numbers

  • 1 out of every 10 families with someone aged 70 or over has a member with Alzheimer's disease.
  • The prevalence of Alzheimer's disease occurs in about 10% of those over 65 years
  • It causes an average of 10 years of dependency and progressive physical and mental disability.
  • A new case is diagnosed in Europe every 70 seconds.
  • There are more than 1,125,000 patients in Spain and it affects the life of 4,500,000 persons
  • In the Basque Country, more than 60,000 of the population have this disease and it impacts on the lives of more than 240,000 people between family members and caregivers.
  • It is estimated that the cost per patient per year is 31,890 Euros per annum, rising to 1,913,400,000 euros per annum in the Basque Country.
  • With the increase in life expectancy, the number of patients with AD will have doubled by 2040.
  • Our country will be facing a large-scale health and social problem in the next few years.
  • Alzheimer's disease is the greatest challenge faced by current medicine.

There is a growing body of scientific data on the prevalence and incidence of dementia as well as on mortality and the global economic costs associated with it. While most of the information comes from high-income countries, the information from low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) is increasing dramatically.

The projections of prevalence and incidence indicate that the number of people with dementia will continue to grow particularly among the oldest members of the population, and that countries in the process of demographic transition are the ones that will experience the greatest levels of growth.

There were 35.6 million people worldwide living with dementia in 2010.

This figure is expected to double every 20 years, standing at 65.7 million in 2030 and 115.4 million in 2050. Most of the increases will occur in rapidly developing middle-income countries.


7.7 million new cases per year, which involves the diagnosis of a new case every four seconds.

Currently, 58% of people with dementia live in LMIC, and this is expected to increase to 71% by 2050.

It is rare for the onset of dementia to occur before the age of 65, although it is very possible that this is underestimated since early-onset dementia represents between 2% and 9% of all cases.

The total societal cost of dementia today is 604,000 million dollars, 89% of which is spent in high-income countries.

How to finance the care for the sick in the long-term, including support for their families and caregivers will inevitably become an increasingly urgent political and healthcare priority.

Efforts to improve the quality and availability of care should be accompanied by an urgent investment in primary and secondary prevention.

More research is needed to identify modifiable risk factors.

The evolution of the epidemic of dementia should be monitored in all regions of the world, with an evaluation of the effectiveness of prevention programs and the impact of the measures taken to increase the coverage of care.

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