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Risk of dying of dementia

Bottom line

The risks of developing dementia increase dramatically with age, but the risk of dying from dementia is low, but increasing from 1 chance in 100 of someone with dementia dying from it in their 60s, to 1 in 20 for the over 90s.


Data sources

What the sources tell us

The risk of developing dementia increases rapidly with age after about 45 years. before that the risk is miniscule, about 1 in 10,000, but that increases to 1 in 77 for those aged 65-69 years, and to under 1 in 10 for those over 80 years (Figure 1).

Figure 1: risk of developing dementia according to age

Give us the odds

The risk of dying of dementia is much less than the risk of dying with dementia. Figure 2 shows the risk of dying from dementia, which even in those aged 90 or more is still only 1 in about 60. The risk of dying from dementia is low, but increasing from 1 chance in 100 of someone with dementia dying from it in their 60s, to 1 in 20 for the over 90s.Figure 2 also shows the risks of vascular dementia.

Figure 2: Risk of dying of dementia by age

Comment

Dementia is one of those conditions in which most of us fear the disease much more than the dying of it. The figures for dementia prevalence may, of course, be influenced by the lives people have lived. Those now in their 80s lived a life much different from that offered today. It is possible that dementia rates for younger people today will be lower, especially for those who follow healthy lifestyles - something easier done today than in the past.