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Londoners are among the least likely to have dementia, Alzheimer's charity reveals

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 12/10/2017 Chris Baynes

© Provided by Independent Print Limited The lowest rates of dementia in the UK are found in London, with some Londoners less likely to get the condition than anywhere else in the country.

Interactive maps have revealed that the east London constituency of Poplar and Limehouse has fewer than four cases for every 1,000 people, according Alzheimer's Research UK.

This is less than a third of the national average of 13 per 1,000 people. Hotspots for the condition are coastal towns and areas popular with retired people.

Christchurch in Dorset has the highest prevalence of dementia per head of population at 28 cases per 1,000 people, according to the charity, which compiled the maps.

Four of the five Parliamentary constituencies with the lowest rates are in London. There are five cases in every 1,000 people in West Ham, Bethnal Green and Bow, Hackney South and Shoreditch, and Manchester Central.

But the maps show wide fluctuations in dementia rates in the capital.

The three areas with the highest prevalence are Hornchurch and Upminster, Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner, and Old Bexley and Sidcup, where there are 16 cases in every 1,000 people. The constituencies' populations are older than the London average.

A 2014 report by Alzheimer's Society highlighted a "postcode lottery of dementia care and support" in London, and said neighbouring boroughs often had wildly differing services, diagnosis levels, and memory clinic waiting times

Nationally, the area with the highest rate after Christchurch is in New Forest West, with 27 cases per 1,000 people, followed jointly by North Norfolk, Clacton and Worthing West, each with 24 cases per 1,000 people.

The areas with the highest prevalence typically have between 1,500 and 2,700 people suffering dementia.

There are currently 850,000 people living with the dementia in the UK but this is expected to rise to one million by 2025 as people live longer.

Dr Matthew Norton, director of policy at Alzheimer's Research UK, said: "Dementia is our greatest medical challenge and with our ageing population, the number of people affected by this devastating condition is only going to rise.

"Today, one in three people have a family member or close friend with dementia.

"Despite this, there is still a worrying lack of public understanding about the condition, which is why we have developed the dementia hotspots maps.

"As the UK's leading dementia research charity, one of our biggest challenges is to empower people with the knowledge that this cruel and unforgiving condition can be defeated.

"Dementia is not an inevitable part of ageing, it is caused by diseases."

The maps can be viewed online, broken down by constituency or clinical commissioning group.

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