The importance of detecting and managing comorbidities in people with dementia?

Chris Fox*, Toby Smith, Ian Maidment, Jennifer Hebding, Tairo Madzima, Francine Cheater, Jane Cross, Fiona Poland, Jacqueline White, John Young

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter, comment/opinion or interviewpeer-review


Dementia is a debilitating condition characterised by global loss of cognitive and intellectual functioning, which gradually interferes with social and occupational performance. It is a common worldwide condition with a significant impact on society. There are currently 36 million people worldwide with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other dementias [1]. This is expected to more than double by 2030 (65 million) and reach ∼115 million in 2050, unless a major breakthrough is made. The worldwide societal costs were estimated at USD 604 billion in 2010 and rising [2].
To date research on the specific physical healthcare needs of people with dementia has been neglected. Yet, physical comorbidities are reported as common in people with dementia [3] and have been shown to lead to increased disability and reduced quality of life for the affected person and their carer [4].
Dementia is most frequently associated with older people who often present with other medical conditions, known as co-morbidities. Such co-morbidities include diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, musculoskeletal disorders and chronic cardiac failure and are common, 61% of people with …
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)741-743
Number of pages3
JournalAge and Ageing
Issue number6
Early online date19 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 2014

Bibliographical note

This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Age and Ageing following peer review. The version of record Fox, C., Smith, T., Maidment, I., Hebding, J., Madzima, T., Cheater, F., ... Young, J. (2014). The importance of detecting and managing comorbidities in people with dementia?. Age and ageing, 43(6), 741-743 is available online at:


  • cognitive impairment
  • diseases
  • multiple pathologies
  • older people


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