Dementia will affect 1 million Canadians by 2030: study

A new report from the Alzheimer Society of Canada predicts that nearly one million people in the country will be living with dementia by the end of the decade.

The report, “Navigating the Path Forward for Dementia in Canada,” says this represents an increase of more than 65% from the estimated 597,300 Canadians living with dementia in 2020.

That year, 124,000 new cases of dementia were diagnosed in Canada, or 15 every hour. By 2030, the report says this will increase to 187,000 new cases per year, or 21 per hour.

As Canada’s population ages, the number of new cases each year will increase to more than 250,000 per year by the 2040s, the report predicts.

By 2050, the number of people living with dementia in Canada will increase to more than 1.7 million, almost three times as many as in 2020.

About 1.6% of the Canadian population suffered from dementia in 2020. This figure is now expected to rise to 3.6% by 2050, according to the report.

“There is encouraging news about reducing risk and delaying the onset of dementia,” the report said. “However, Canada’s aging population means that we will continue to see continued increases in the number of people with dementia.”


The report describes dementia as a collection of symptoms caused by certain disturbances in the healthy functioning of the brain. Symptoms can include memory loss, difficulty with attention, problem solving, and language, mood and behavior changes, and problems with vision, balance, and movement.

While the study authors describe Alzheimer’s disease as the disease that causes changes in brain structure years before these symptoms appear, Alzheimer’s dementia refers to the later stage of the disease when these problems become evident.

Other types of dementia exist, but Alzheimer’s dementia is thought to be the most common, the report says.

Although there are a number of risk factors for dementia, the report says age is the most important, with most people who develop dementia being over 65, but not all. The risk of dementia doubles approximately every five years after age 65, with nearly one in four people. Canadians diagnosed after age 85.

Women, who tend to live longer than men, represent a larger proportion of people with dementia in Canada and around the world.

In 2020, about 61.8% of people with dementia were women, according to the report. This gap is expected to increase to 63.1% by 2050.

All provinces will see an increase in the number of cases as long as current trends continue, the company says, although situations vary based on demographics, migration patterns and dementia risk factors.


As part of the study, the company calculated the number of hours invested by those, such as family members, friends and neighbors, who care for people with dementia.

There were 350,000 care partners in 2020 providing an average of 26 hours of care per week, according to the report, which represents 470 million hours of care per year, or the equivalent of 235,000 full-time jobs.

Based on current projections, the study predicts that the number of care partners in Canada will increase to more than one million by 2050, providing nearly 1.4 billion hours of care per year, the equivalent of more than 690,000 full-time jobs.

The Alzheimer Society also calculated how many fewer new cases of dementia would occur if the risk of dementia was generally reduced for everyone.

Under these hypothetical scenarios, the society claims that delaying the onset of dementia by even one year would result in nearly 500,000 fewer new cases by 2050.

A 10-year delay, meanwhile, would result in more than four million fewer new cases in the same year and reduce the number of hours needed for care by almost a billion a year.

The report cites another study, which found that 12 risk factors – lack of education, hearing loss, brain injury, hypertension, alcohol abuse, obesity, smoking, depression, social isolation, physical inactivity, air pollution air and diabetes – account for approximately 40% of dementia cases worldwide.

“Just delaying their onset by a year could actually have a very profound impact on the number of people with dementia,” Alzheimer Society of Ontario CEO Cathy Barrick told CTV News on Tuesday. Channel.

The Alzheimer Society report adds that evidence also shows that overlapping or multiple risk factors further increase the risk of dementia.

“We have an incomplete understanding of the risk and protective factors for the development of dementia and the progression of dementia – much remains to be done,” the study authors write. “This is particularly important because there is no known cure for dementia.”