Dementia now leading cause of death in England and Wales

Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, has overtaken heart disease as the leading cause of death in England and Wales, latest figures reveal. Last year, more than 61,000 people died of dementia – 11.6% of all recorded deaths. The Office for National Statistics says the change is largely due to an ageing population.
People are living for longer and deaths from some other causes, including heart disease, have gone down. Also, doctors have got better at diagnosing dementia and the condition is now given more weight on death certificates.
The bulk of the dementia deaths seen were among women – 41,283, compared to 20,403 dementia deaths in men in 2015. Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, accounted for 15.2% of all female deaths, up from 13.4% in 2014.
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. In the youngest age group, aged five to 19, suicide was the leading cause of death. Among women aged 35 to 49, breast cancer was the biggest killer.