70% increase in 15 years: this disease becomes the leading cause of death in Belgium

More and more Belgians are dying of dementia. Between 2004 and 2019, the number of deaths attributed to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia rose by more than 70%, according to the latest mortality statistics from Sciensano, cited in L’Echo on Friday.

Nearly one in ten deaths in our country is linked to dementia. In 2004, this proportion was still only 5%. In Flanders, the incidence of dementia on the mortality rate is higher than that observed in Wallonia and Brussels. In the north of the country, 94 people per 100,000 inhabitants died in 2019 from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, compared to 67 in Brussels and 72 in Wallonia.

Alzheimer’s disease is the best known and also the most common form of dementia. According to experts, the aging of the population largely explains the sharp increase in mortality linked to dementia. “Old age is the main risk factor for dementia“, explains Sebastiaan Engelborghs, head of the neurology department at UZ Brussel. There is no medication against the consequences of dementia.

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