The increasingly complex care needs of people living with dementia have been highlighted in a major new report.
Research by Public Health England (PHE) found that more than three-quarters of dementia patients had at least one other major health issue, including high blood pressure, depression, coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke or diabetes.
Julia Verne, head of clinical epidemiology at PHE, said: “People with dementia are more vulnerable to other health conditions, especially as they get older.
“They may have unmet needs that could, if left unchecked, lead to preventable health outcomes such as emergency hospital admissions.”
The report found that patients with dementia were more likely to have multiple health conditions, with more than a fifth (22%) with three or more comorbidities and 8% with four or more comorbidities, compared with 11% and 3%, respectively, for all patient groups.
Almost half of dementia patients (44%) have a diagnosis of hypertension, 17-20% have diabetes, stroke or transient ischaemic attack, CHD or depression and 9-11% have a diagnosis of Parkinson’s, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma.
The number of people living with dementia in the UK is estimated to be around 850,000 and set to increase, with figures anticipated to reach over one million by 2025.