Charity publishes figures showing levels of dementia across the nation and names the top five 'hotspots' for the condition in the country

Written by Callum Patterson for DonateToday

PUBLISHED: 16:07, 13th Oct 2017 | UPDATED: 14:19, 24th Oct 2017

Alzheimer's Research UK have published interactive maps of the UK to allow users to see how prevalent dementia is in their local constituency

Christchurch in Dorset has the highest rates of dementia ­– the leading cause of death in the UK – of anywhere in the country. Alzheimer’s Research UK – a nationwide charity dedicated to funding research into how to defeat dementia – has published figures indicating the levels of the condition across the country.

The Office for National Statistics named dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, as the leading cause of death in the UK in statistics published in November 2016, and levels of it are set to rise by around 17%, taking the number of people affected by the condition in the UK to around 1 million by 2025.

Despite this worrying statistic, public understanding of dementia is still believed to be low and, similarly, research into the condition is thought to lag behind that of other serious conditions. In response, Alzheimer’s Research UK will be taking part in a parliamentary information session to highlight the importance of keeping dementia high on the political agenda.

Ahead of the parliamentary information session, the charity has developed a new online tool to allow visitors to their website to see up-to-date information on levels of dementia, not only in the UK, but in their own individual constituencies.

When the tool was first published (12 October 2017), Christchurch in Dorset’s levels of dementia were at 28 people affected by the condition in every 1000. This figure means that almost three percent of the total population of Christchurch were affected by dementia – more than double the country’s average (which was closer to just one percent).

"Through the power of research, we know we can change the outlook for people with dementia – but to achieve this, research must have the backing of the public and parliament."

Dr Matthew North, Director of Policy at Alzheimer's Research UK

The five UK constituencies in the UK with the highest levels of dementia were Christchurch, New Forest West (with 27 people affected per 1000), and North Norfolk, Clacton and Worthing West (all with 24 people affected per 1000).

At the other end of the scale, the five constituencies with the lowest percentage of people affected by dementia were Poplar and Limehouse, West Ham, Bethnal Green and Bow, Manchester Central and Hackney South and Shoreditch – each with around four or five people affected per 1000.

‘Dementia is not an inevitable part of ageing – it is caused by disease,’ said Dr Matthew Norton, Director of Policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK. ‘Through the power of research, we know we can change the outlook for people with dementia – but to achieve this, research must have the backing of the public and parliament.

‘These maps underline the devastating impact dementia is having on our communities,’ he finished, ‘And we hope it will inspire people to join our movement to bring an end to the fear, harm and heartbreak caused by dementia.’