Alzheimer's Research UK - One in five people dying from COVID-19 have dementia, figures reveal
15 May 2020 10:12 AM
NHS England has published a breakdown of deaths by pre-existing conditions. Of the 22,332 patients who died since March 31, when pre-existing conditions began to be reported, some 5,873 (26%) of patients had diabetes, while 4,048 (18%) had dementia.
Samantha Benham-Hermetz, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“This shocking news will no doubt bring even more worry and fear to people affected by dementia and their loved ones, during an already challenging time.
“While it’s still unclear what’s behind the link between COVID-19 and dementia, we do know that people with dementia are more vulnerable to certain infections. Age is the biggest risk factor for dementia, and with older people also more likely to experience severe symptoms from COVID-19, this may partly explain the high number of deaths. It is also possible that people with dementia may be more likely to have been exposed to the virus due to high rates of infection in care homes.
“As a matter of priority, government must protect people with dementia and more research is needed to understand why people with dementia are so badly affected by COVID-19, so that the right measures can be put in place to prevent further deaths.”
For further information, or to arrange an interview, please contact Emma Hardwick, Communications Manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK on 07826 494542, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors:
- Our animation “What is dementia?” explains the essentials of dementia and the diseases that cause it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HobxLbPhrMc
- Alzheimer’s Research UK is the UK’s leading charity specialising in finding preventions, treatments and a cure for dementia.
- To help make breakthroughs possible, donate today by visiting www.alzheimersresearchuk.org or calling 0300 111 5555.
- We are currently supporting pioneering dementia research projects worth nearly £34 million in leading Universities across the UK.
- How can we challenge perceptions of dementia using only an orange? Find out more at www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/orange and help us share a better understanding about dementia. #ShareTheOrange