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Alzheimer’s Research UK welcomes ambitions for dementia set out in first women’s health strategy

The ten-year strategy follows the charity’s calls for action to tackle dementia’s disproportionate impact on women

Alzheimer's Research UK

Alzheimer’s Research UK has welcomed the publication of the first government-led Women’s Health Strategy for England and its ambitions for dementia.

The strategy, which sets out ambitions to tackle deep-rooted, systemic issues within the health and care system to improve the health and wellbeing of women, is shaped by the voices of 100,000 women and over 400 written submissions from organisations and experts in health and care.

Among its list of ambitions included in the ten-year strategy are commitments relating to dementia's disproportionate impact on women. This includes ambitions to improve the number of women participating in dementia research and to grow awareness of dementia risk factors that may help reduce the number of women living with dementia in the future.

It is estimated that 65% of people living with dementia are women. According to data from the Office of National Statistics, in 2020 the leading cause of death for females in England was dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. However, it is still not fully understood why dementia is more prevalent in women, indicating a need for ongoing research into this area.

'It is important that we understand the risk factors for dementia…It is also important that we consider the impact of sex, geography and ethnicity on dementia risk factors, diagnosis and research,’ the document states.

The strategy also outlines that the government will look for ways to encourage research into the relationship between early menopause and developing Alzheimer’s disease, an area of research suggested by respondents.

Earlier this year, Alzheimer’s Research UK published an analysis, The Impact of Dementia on Women, which highlighted how women are disproportionately affected by dementia across their lives.

The recommendations outlined by the charity called for government, policymakers and other stakeholders to ‘recognise and prioritise dementia as a significant issue for women’s health, and to address inequalities in healthcare and research’.

David Thomas, head of policy at Alzheimer's Research UK, said: “We welcome that, among a number of helpful actions to tackle the gender health gap, there is recognition in this Strategy of the disproportionate impact of dementia on women. It’s really positive to see an ambition to ensure greater numbers of women are participating in dementia research and greater public awareness of dementia risk factors.

“Now is the time to address the disproportionate impact of dementia on women and these strategies are a key opportunity to avoid these inequalities continuing unchecked.”

Article by
Emily Kimber

21st July 2022

From: Healthcare



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