Dementia is now Britain’s biggest killer, overtaking heart disease for first time new figures have shown.
Some 70,366 people died from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia last year compared to around 66,076 deaths from heart disease.
In 2015 heart disease was the biggest killer with 69,785 death, while 69,182 people died from dementia.
The switch is being driven by the ageing British population, combined with improvements in heart health, as more people are prescribed statins and beta blockers to cope with high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Charities have called on the government to double its annual £132 million dementia research funding over the next five years. Projections suggest that 1.2 million will be living with dementia by 2040.
The new figures combine data released last year from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) with new mortality statistics from theNorthern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, giving a full picture for Britain.