Global Rates of Alzheimer's Disease Soar
Aging populations drive increase; developing world will be hit hard
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2009 2:40 PM CDT
This image released by the United States Postal Service, shows the Alzheimer's postage stamp.   (AP Photo/USPS)

(Newser) – Rising life expectancy in the developing world will lead to a dramatic increase in the number of people stricken by Alzheimer’s disease, HealthDay News reports. The number of dementia cases worldwide will reach 35.6 million in 2010, a 10% increase over the total in 2005. That number is expected to nearly double every 20 years, reaching 115.4 million in 2050, according to a new report by Alzheimer’s Disease International.

Rates of dementia incidence are rising fastest in the developing world. Countries in North Africa and the Middle East will see cases increase by 125% over the next 20 years as advances in life expectancy bring the problems of an aging population. "This new report updates the sad fact that economic globalization and development is coupled to a globalizing dementia epidemic,” an Alzheimer’s Disease International official said.