Two Amble women who lost loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease have called for more financial support to fight the condition, after figures revealed that dementia has become the leading cause of death.
Latest data has shown that Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia have overtaken heart disease as the leading cause of death in England and Wales .
Last year, more than 61,000 people died of dementia – 11.6 per cent of all recorded deaths.
The bulk of the dementia deaths seen were among women. For men, however, heart disease remained the leading cause of death in 2015.
All types of cancer as a group was still the most common cause of death overall.
Experts say that an ageing population and better diagnosis have led to the mortality rate for dementia more than doubling in the past five years in England and Wales.
Barbara Dow and Gemma Little, from Amble, have reacted to the news. Barbara, whose husband Al had dementia and died in 2005, said: “It is astonishing really. The thing that has surprised me most is the fact that it is so high in women.
“But the figures overall are to be expected in a way, because there has been so much publicity urging people to see a doctor if they have a problem with memory loss.
“But I believe more money needs to be put in to this.”
Gemma, whose mum Anne died in 2006 after being diagnosed 10 years earlier, said: “It shows how important awareness and raising funds is in leading the fight against dementia.”
The pair are active Alzheimer’s Society supporters.