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Ashley Workman

October 21, 2014


Alzheimers disease: Current Trends in Wales
Dementia is the third leading cause of death in America. Dementia effects the brain
causing memory loss, logopenic aphasia, mood swings, and difficulty performing complex
activities. In the later stages of dementia, people are unable to do simple daily tasks, such as
brushing their teeth and end up needing to be in a care facility. Alzheimers disease is
accountable for about 60% of all dementia cases. There are three types of dementia: early-onset,
late-onset, and familial. Wales has the highest proportion of people over the age of 65. About
one-fifth of the population in Wales are aged 65 or older. But, why does this matter? Because
they have been seeing an increase of Alzheimers. Dementia is a growing issue among the
elderly population in developed countries like the United Kingdom. They are estimating that the
dementia ratio will double every 20 year. In 2009 they estimated about 35.6 million people will
be living with dementia in 2010 and are expecting to double every 20 years, adding up to 65.7
million by 2030 and 115.4 million by 2050 worldwide.
Alzheimers disease was diagnosed using the International Statistical Classification of
Diseases and Related Health Problems. Data was collected on Alzheimers diagnosis that were
recorded in PEDW in the fiscal year in which they were reported. All patients diagnosed with
Alzheimers between 1999 and 2010 were included in this study. They used diagnosis codes to
classify if the person had early-onset, late-onset, other forms of dementia and unspecified form
of dementia. All patients that were included in this study between 1999 and 2010 were patients
who were 60 years or older. The aims of this study were to determine the prevalence and

incidence rates of Alzheimers between 1999 and 2010 in Wales and he relationship between
Alzheimers with age.
There were a total of 14,534 people diagnosed with Alzheimers disease in the time of
1999 and 2010. More than 97% of these people were older than 65 years of age. These numbers
are equivalent to 1211 cases annually in Wales. Of the 14,534 people diagnosed in this time
frame, most of them had unspecified Alzheimers disease or late-onset of the disease with only
7% of the population getting early-onset Alzheimers.
This was one of the largest studies done on the epidemiology of Alzheimers disease in
Europe and it also the first case study on the trend of the disease in Wales. Previous studies have
been based off or hospitals of single cities, but this study was based on cases from the whole
country, making it more accurate. This study has demonstrated that Alzheimers disease is a
problem for people over the age of 60. Although, this is also likely to be underestimated as only
patients who present to doctors were included in the database. Patients that have dementia but are
not seeking medical attention were not included in the study which means, there could be so
many more cases going under the radar. Alzheimers disease is known to be associated with
people who are living in poverty or illiteracy.
Alzheimers disease is a big issue towards the elderly population, as it affects the
cognitive function affecting their activities of daily living. Although this study has its limitations,
it has provided information about the epidemiology about Alzheimers disease in Wales for the
first time. It is very important and the public is educated about this disease and if they encounter
any symptoms of dementia, they should seek medical help. It is best to detect dementia as early
as possible to that they can prolong the patients independence and slow the progression of
symptoms.