Background and purpose: The objective of this study is to estimate the number of dementia cases expected to occur in France and Europe over the next few decades until 2050.
Methods: Our estimates are based on a model using the European incidence data for dementia by age and sex, the relative mortality risks related to dementia stratified by age classes, and the projections of mortality coefficients in the French and European general population.
Results: In France, in 2010, the number of dementia cases should reach 754000, i.e., 1.2% of the general population or 2.8% of the active population. By 2050 this number should be multiplied by 2.4, i.e., 1813000 cases, which will be 2.6% of the total population and 6.2% of the active population. In Europe this number could reach more than 6 millions in 2010 and 14 millions in 2050. The sensitivity analysis performed on French data showed that our projections were robust to the use of alternative data for incidence and relative mortality risk (variation of 5.5% and 6.5%), but very sensitive to hypotheses of evolution of mortality (variation of -22% to 29%).
Conclusions: The approach used in our study, integrating both the dementia incidence and the mortality in the calculations, allowed us to refine the projections and stress the great sensitivity of the demographic hypotheses forecasts on the evolution of life expectancy. The likely increase is particularly important and confirms that French and European health systems must take this into account when making future plans.