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English dementia report highlights hidden disease burden

The number of people with an up-to-date dementia care plan fell by a quarter in the year to December 2020, reveal latest dementia profile statistics for England.  

The update shows that the percentage of people (of all ages) diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in England who had received a care plan or care plan review in the preceding 12 months was 46.8 per cent in December 2020, compared to the 63.1 per cent average of the previous two years.

The proportion of people with these two conditions prescribed antipsychotic medication in the preceding six weeks was 10.1 per cent, compared with a previous two-year average of 9.4 per cent.

Since April 2020, there has been a consistent pattern of lower diagnosed prevalence rates for dementia in over 65-year-olds compared to before the pandemic. In December 2020 in England, the estimated dementia and Alzheimer’s diagnosis rate was 62.4 per cent – a decrease of 5.4 percentage points compared to December 2019 – despite the aspiration of the challenge on dementia 2020. This proposes that two-thirds of people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease have a formal diagnosis for their condition.

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