Introduction: Dementia is currently one of the leading causes of mortality globally, and mortality due to dementia will likely increase in the future along with corresponding increases in population growth and population aging. However, large inconsistencies in coding practices in vital registration systems over time and between countries complicate the estimation of global dementia mortality.
Methods: We meta-analyzed the excess risk of death in those with dementia and multiplied these estimates by the proportion of dementia deaths occurring in those with severe, end-stage disease to calculate the total number of deaths that could be attributed to dementia.
Results: We estimated that there were 1.62 million (95% uncertainty interval [UI]: 0.41-4.21) deaths globally due to dementia in 2019. More dementia deaths occurred in women (1.06 million [0.27-2.71]) than men (0.56 million [0.14-1.51]), largely but not entirely due to the higher life expectancy in women (age-standardized female-to-male ratio 1.19 [1.10-1.26]). Due to population aging, there was a large increase in all-age mortality rates from dementia between 1990 and 2019 (100.1% [89.1-117.5]). In 2019, deaths due to dementia ranked seventh globally in all ages and fourth among individuals 70 and older compared to deaths from other diseases estimated in the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study.
Discussion: Mortality due to dementia represents a substantial global burden, and is expected to continue to grow into the future as an older, aging population expands globally.
Keywords: burden of disease; dementia; global health; mortality.
© 2021 The Authors. Alzheimer's & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Alzheimer's Association.