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Study shows dementia is biggest killer in affluent areas

From BBC - November 1, 2017

Dementia and Alzheimer's disease is the leading cause of death in affluent areas in Wales, new figures have shown.

The Office for National Statistics figures also showed heart disease was the biggest killer in deprived areas.

One charity said work was under way in the south Wales valleys to encourage people to make better informed decisions about their health.

The Welsh Government said it was "determined" to address health inequalities.

The report showed that 333 people died from dementia and Alzheimer's in Wales' least deprived areas in 2016, compared to 284 deaths in the most deprived areas.

Meanwhile, there were 397 heart disease deaths in the most deprived areas in 2016 - compared to 294 in the most affluent areas.

Alzheimer's Society Cymru director Sue Phelps said health and social care staff were "increasingly recognising dementia as a cause of death as opposed to a natural part of ageing".

"They also reflect that decreased mortality for other conditions is leading to more people living longer and thus becoming at higher risk for developing dementia as age is a determining risk factor; this is particularly the case in more affluent areas," she said.

"As there is no cure for the condition, it is essential that people have access to the right support and services to help them live as well as possible with dementia and that research into better care, and treatment is of the highest priority."

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