Dementia killed more women than Covid-19 in 2020

23 August 2021

Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures have revealed that dementia, not Covid-19, was the greatest cause of death of women in 2020 in England and Wales.

Dementia killed 45,922 women in England and Wales in 12 months in 2020. This means 125 women were dying of dementia every day, or five women an hour. It was the cause of 15.3% of all female deaths.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease also killed more than 24,000 men, according to the ONS, although Covid-19 caused the most deaths for men in England and Wales, followed by heart disease, after which dementia and Alzheimer’s disease came third.

The ONS data also showed that dementia and Alzheimer’s disease was the most common main pre-existing condition found among deaths involving Covid-19 and was involved in 12,869 deaths, or 25.6% of all deaths involving Covid-19, in March to June 2020.

Alzheimer's Research UK Chief Executive Hilary Evans called dementia “our greatest long-term medical challenge”. She said: “With the number of people with dementia set to triple, we need to see concerted global action now.

"To safeguard progress and improve outcomes around the world, it’s vital our Government invests to maintain the UK as a global hub for dementia research to safeguard research progress and improve outcomes around the world.”

Dementia charities are calling for global action to fund research into a cure for dementia.

The ONS latest figures are published here.