Last reviewed 27 April 2021

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released figures showing that dementia and Alzheimer’s disease caused more deaths in March 2021 than Covid-19, which had been the leading cause of mortality since October 2020.

The ONS figures show that Covid-19 is no longer the leading cause of death in England. A quarter of all those who died of Covid-19 had dementia, but the dementia diagnosis rate has dropped by 43,000 since March 2020.

Nearly a million people are estimated to be living with dementia in the UK but there are currently no life-changing treatments for the condition.

Dementia research charity Alzheimer’s Research has called for urgent action now in the form of more dementia research funding. Alzheimer’s Research UK Chief Executive Hilary Evans said the Government must honour its manifesto pledge to double its funding for dementia research.

She said: “It is of little comfort to people with dementia that Covid-19 is no longer the leading cause of death in England. People with dementia have been hit disproportionately hard during the pandemic, and these latest figures released by the ONS show that as one crisis appears to ease, another remains as urgent as ever. Dementia is one of the biggest health challenges we are facing and the pandemic has only served to highlight the urgency with which we must tackle it.”

The charity supports dementia research projects worth almost £34 million in universities across the UK.

Hilary Evans said that, with more funding, the lessons learned during the pandemic can be used as an opportunity to enhance research into dementia “and move closer to finding a life-changing treatment by 2025.”

The charity is urging the public to sign its petition calling on the Government to deliver on its election promise to double its funding for dementia research.

More information on the petition is at: https://www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/campaigns/dementia-research-at-risk-petition/.