More than 2,150 died from dementia last year

More than 2,150 deaths from dementia were recorded in Ireland last year, up from 813 in 2007, according to the Central Statistics Office.

The 165% increase is the result of better recording practices of incidences of death due to dementia.

The Alzheimer Society of Ireland said yesterday a dementia register was an important next step in the fight against the brain condition that causes problems with thinking and memory.

The society is concerned that Ireland does not have access to an accurate picture of those living with the condition. The data is crucial for planning treatment and care for the thousands of people developing the disease every year.

Currently, 55,000 people in Ireland have dementia.

The society says other jurisdictions such as Sweden gather comprehensive data about individuals diagnosed with dementia from general practitioners, hospitals and clinics.

One of the recommendations of the National Dementia Strategy published two years ago is the development of better recording and coding practices of dementia.

The society has now published a study by researchers at Dublin City University on the feasibility of developing a dementia registry that would record and code disease diagnoses. It suggests that developing a registry would be a worthwhile investment.

The society’s policy and research manager Emer Begley said it was vital that a registry was established as a matter of urgency.

“Patient registries can inform clinical and policy decisionmaking and facilitate health policy and research,” said Dr Begley.

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