Ageing of the EU population

 

The 2015 Ageing Report – Economic and budgetary projections for the 28 EU Member States (2013–2060) forecasts:

  • life expectancy at birth for males is expected to increase from 77.7 to 84.8 in 2060 and for females from 83.1 to 89.1 in 2060;

  • the demographic old-age dependency ratio (people aged 65 or above relative to those aged 15–64) is projected to increase from 27.8% to 50.1% in the EU as a whole over the projection period.

 

Thus, the EU will progress from having four working-age people for every person aged over 65 years, to around two working-age persons in 2060, and the fiscal impact of ageing is projected to be high in most Member States, with effects becoming apparent already during the next decade. Ageing of the European population creates significant health, societal and economical challenges for EU economies.

Mild cognitive impairment

 

Cognitive impairment starts with ageing associated cognitive impairment, progresses to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and finally to dementia. The course of MCI is unpredictable; in some patients it remains stable, in some patients it progresses to dementia and some patients with MCI regain their cognitive abilities. For effective management, it is crucial to detect MCI as soon as possible, since people with MCI have an increased risk of developing dementia.

 

Two forms of MCI were identified:

  • one that primarily affects memory – amnestic type and

  • the other that affects the ability to make sound decisions, judge the time or sequence of steps needed to complete a complex task, or visual perception.

 

The amnestic type of MCI is most often associated with development of dementia, especially Alzheimer’s disease (AD). 8 of every 10 people with amnestic MCI develop AD within 7 years (https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-mild-cognitive-impairment). The cumulative dementia incidence in individuals with MCI older than age 65 is about 15% (Neurology 2018, 16; 90(3): 126–135).

Diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (READ MORE >>)

Dementia

 

The estimated number of people in Europe with dementia in 2015 was 10.5 million, projected to increase to 18.66 million in 2050. Parkinson’s disease with Lewy body dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and Fronto-temporal dementia are the most common ageing and dementia associated neurodegenerative brain disorders. The number of people with dementia is underestimated since a majority of people with dementia have not received a diagnosis and are thus unable to access care and treatment (World Alzheimer Report 2016, Improving healthcare for people living with dementia).