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1M Canadians Could Have Dementia By 2030, Study Says

By Tamara Steele Sep 8, 2022 | 8:17 AM

Chandra MacBean is the executive director for the Alzheimer Society of New Brunswick. Image supplied.

More than 597,000 Canadians were living with dementia in 2020.

If nothing is done to curb it, that number will be close to one million within a decade.

The data is contained in the first of three reports by the Alzheimer Society of Canada called The Landmark Study.

The reports are considered the first significant update on Canada’s dementia landscape and projections in 12 years.

Chandra MacBean, executive director of the New Brunswick chapter, said lifestyle factors such as high blood pressure and diabetes increase the risk of developing dementia.

“Obesity, excessive alcohol use, smoking, some of those modifiable lifestyle choices and some of those health risks when well cared for can help reduce your risk of developing dementia down the road,” MacBean said.

MacBean said one of the promising things about the report is it demonstrates how it doesn’t have to be this way.

The report finds delaying the onset of dementia by 10 years would effectively avoid more than four million cases.

Caring for people with dementia is also explored in the report.

MacBean said more than 7,400 care partners in Canada spend more than 200,000 hours a week looking after someone with dementia.

“We’re looking at those community programs that can support those care partners to provide care for their loved ones in their home and educational programs. There could also be some financial incentives because some of these care partners are losing work as a result,” MacBean said.

MacBean said an aging population and lifestyle factors like unmanaged depression, smoking, and alcohol use increase the risk of getting dementia.


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