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Dementia diagnoses rising steadily in England

The number of people with a recorded diagnosis of dementia has risen steadily over the past seven years, new figures show. 

The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) revealed that a total of 344,000 people were diagnosed with dementia in 2013/14, compared to 213,000 in 2006/07 when the data was first recorded. 

HSCIC theories behind the rise include the ageing population, an increase in the number of people being diagnosed or improved recording of diagnosis. 

George Mcnamara, head of policy and public affairs at the Alzheimer's Society said: “More people with dementia may now be known by their GP and registered as having the condition, but the stark reality is that hundreds of thousands still face the life-altering diagnosis of dementia alone, without any support or information.

“Whilst a rise in diagnosis does show progress, over half of people living with dementia still do not have one. With an ageing population and more people developing the condition, diagnosing dementia must remain a priority. Whilst it is one of the most feared conditions for those over 55, everyone has a right to know they are living with dementia and deserves the chance to access available treatments and support.” 

 - The percentage of registered patients with a recorded diagnosis of dementia (prevalence rate) has increased in all four NHS regions of England between 2012/13 and 2013/14.

 - There is regional variation in the level of recorded diagnosis, with the North and South having the highest levels at 0.68 and 0.67%, the Midlands and East of England at 0.62% and London, with its different age profile notably lower at 0.39%(3).

 - Looking at variation in the level of recorded diagnosis by clinical commissioning group (CCG), the CCG with the highest level at March 2014 was the Isle of Wight at 1.1%; where 46.4% of all patients registered with GPs are aged 50 and over. The lowest recorded level was in Tower Hamlets CCG, at 0.25% where 15.5% of all patients are 50 or over.

The statistics show the numbers of patients registered with GP practices in England, who have a recorded diagnosis of dementia.