Prague, Czech Republic – The number of people suffering from dementia in the Czech Republic has doubled since 1990, according to the Czech Alzheimer’s Society and the Czech statistical office.
According to a new report, some 167,000 people suffered from dementia-related diseases in the Czech Republic last year, compared to less than 80,000 three decades ago. As the Czech Alzheimer’s Society points out, this is the equivalent of the entire population of the city of Plzen.
In 1960, only 49,000 people suffered from the disease.
This precipitous rise is directly linked, according to experts, to the increase of life expectancy and the ageing of the population, which should further accelerate in the next decades. By mid-century, nearly 400,000 Czechs could suffer from dementia, according to their calculations.
Every 13th person over the age of 65 has dementia in the country. Moreover, the mortality rate among patients suffering from this disease has increased by more than 700% in the past decade, according to the study. Alzheimer’s and dementia are now considered among the top ten causes of death in the Czech Republic.
The report, compiled by the Czech Alzheimer’s Society and the Czech statistical office, also highlights the lack of adequate medical support available for people suffering from dementia and insufficient services and facilities to treat those patients. Only 341 homes and clinics, with less than 21,000 beds in total, currently offer treatments for dementia patients in the Czech Republic.
In order the “avert the future collapse of social services”, the authors of the study call for significant investments in healthcare and a dramatic increase of the services and facilities.
Dementia is an overall medical term covering a wide range of diseases, including Alzheimer’s, which accounts for roughly 60% to 80% of the cases, and is characterized by a general decline or loss of some cognitive and mental abilities (memory loss, language, decline in problem-solving skills, etc.).
Around 50 million people have dementia in the world, according to the World Health Organization, and there are nearly 10 million new cases every year.