More than 15 million people in China aged 60 or over suffer from dementia, of which nearly 10 million have Alzheimer's disease, according to a new report.
The report, which was released Wednesday in Beijing ahead of World Alzheimer's Day, showed that China has become the country with the largest number of Alzheimer's patients in the world, the state-run Global Times reported.
Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia and mostly affects people in old age. In China, however, the disease is also occurring at an increasingly younger age.
"The data showed that the highest proportion of people diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease for the first time was in people aged 60 to 79 years, accounting for 62.1% of the total. But people with Alzheimer's disease who are aged below 60 account for 21.3%, a proportion higher than patients with Alzheimer's disease in their early stages reported internationally, which is between 5% to 10%," the daily reported.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), dementia is a term for several diseases that affect memory, thinking and the ability to perform daily activities.
"The illness gets worse over time. It mainly affects older people, but not all people will get it as they age. Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia," said the WHO.
Currently, more than 55 million people have dementia worldwide, and over 60% of them are from low and middle-income countries, while every year, nearly 10 million new cases are reported, it said.
Lu Lin, academician from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and president of the Sixth Hospital of Peking University, said there is no specific drug for Alzheimer's disease at present.
Lu suggested that proper exercise, adequate sleep and a healthy lifestyle could help prevent the disease.
On Sept. 21 every year, World Alzheimer's Day is observed worldwide as a global effort to raise awareness about the disease.
*Writing by Islamuddin SajidAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.