China is home to the world’s largest population, currently counting almost a 1.4 billion inhabitants. It is also the country with the highest number of people living with dementia, over 10 million, and a research from an international team of scientist co-funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK found that over 90% of dementia cases in people over 60 in China go undetected.
The researchers also found out that undetected dementia is strongly associated with lower socio-economic status, citing as examples lower levels of education and lower occupational classes. Living in rural areas was also associated with higher rates of undetected dementia.
The scientists think there may also be a cultural factor at play, with mental health services in general not being prioritised by the Chinese government. This is needed right now, and should go hand in hand with economic development throughout the country. The researchers also advise implementing more educational campaigns in order for both healthcare professionals and the general population to be able to recognise the condition and ensure the best care possible.