♦ By 2050, the elderly population in India is expected to reach 300 million, accounting for nearly 20% of the total population of the country.
♦ The number of elderly Indians living with Alzheimer’s is expected to triple by 2050 to reach 4.6 million cases, up from 1.6 million in 2015
Mumbai: According to the India Ageing Report 2017, the elderly population in India is growing at 3% annually, a faster rate of growth than other age categories. This shift in population age structure means that the burden of Alzheimer’s in India is set to increase given that the disease primarily occurs in patients over the age of 65 years.
“Alzheimer’s carries with it significant economic and social costs. As our country and the global population ages, the burden of Alzheimer’s disease will continue to increase and put additional pressures on the limited resources available to tackle the situation. Women are expected to bear the worst of the impact in India, as elderly women in the country experience higher life expectancies than their male counterparts, while also encountering neglect as they age. A 2016 Lancet study on healthy life expectancy revealed that while women in India have a higher overall life expectancy than men, women also spend more years in ill health and disability than men,” said Dr Chirag Trivedi, President of ISCR. “We need to intensify clinical research efforts to look for a cure for Alzheimer’s.” There has been no US FDA approved drug for Alzheimer’s since 2003 and although there are several trials currently underway, a cure is still many years away.
Every year, September 21 is marked around the globe as World Alzheimer’s Day.