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According to new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), dementia was the leading cause of death in England and Wales in 2018, accounting for 12.8 percent of all deaths registered.

In addition, the latest figures showed that deaths due to dementia and Alzheimer’s continued to increase throughout 2018 and remained the leading cause of death in England and Wales.

Importantly, ONS says that one reason why the number of deaths caused by dementia has increased over recent years is due to the disease being more likely to occur in later life, and that this goes hand in hand with more people living longer and surviving other illnesses.

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The organisation added that a better of understanding of the degenerative condition and improved diagnosis is also likely to have contributed to increased reporting of dementia on death certificates.

Commenting on the new dementia statistics, Sally Copley, Director of Policy and Campaigns at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “For four years now, we’ve seen deaths caused by dementia increase. We need to take action now to tackle the biggest health crisis of our time. One person develops dementia in the UK every three minutes and there are still far too many facing a future alone, without adequate support.

“There has never been a more urgent need for the Government, the NHS, the research community and society to unite with us against this devastating condition. We are working hard to make sure everyone can live well with dementia today and find a cure for the future, but we need the Government to prioritise dementia with a dedicated NHS Dementia Fund and invest in a plan for long term social care reform.”

ONS based its findings of the leading causes of death in England and Wales in 2018 on a detailed list developed by the World Health Organization (WHO).

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