Dementia mortality rate falls but it is still one of the biggest causes of death in Scotland

The number of deaths caused by Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia in Scotland fell by 5% in 2021, new figures show.

Statistics released by National Records of Scotland (NRS) on Tuesday revealed 6,046 deaths occurred last year as a result of the disease.

This was down from 2020’s records by 306 deaths.

The rate of mortality stood at 117 deaths per 100,000 people, making dementia one of the highest causes of death across the country.

This makes the current rate more than twice as high as it was back in 2000, when it was measured as 56 deaths per 100,000.

However, it was a significant decrease from the 125 deaths per 100,000 as reported in 2020.

Of the 6,046 deaths caused by the disease last year, 3,893 (64%) took place in care homes, while a further 1,197 (20%) occurred within NHS hospitals.

Some 904 (15%) of deaths happened within the person’s home or a non-institution setting.

The number of deaths from dementia and other age-related conditions fell 5% in Scotland last year Pic: Getty

Where Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias were mentioned on the death certificate, but were not necessarily the underlying cause, there were 10,626 deaths recorded in 2021.

The rate of mortality under this measurement was 204 per 100,000 people – an increase of 53% since 2000, but a decrease from 2020’s 241 deaths per 100,000.

NRS acknowledged that 2020’s rate of mortality was most likely due to the impact of Covid-19 on deaths during that year.

It also reported that two thirds of deaths caused by the disease happened to females, with 4,060 (67%) being recorded as female deaths and 1,986 (33%) as males.

More than four in five (84%) of deaths occurred in people over the age of 80, with an average age of 87 being observed.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have made a call to end care charges following the data’s release.

Party leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “Dementia has heart-breaking consequences for those diagnosed and their families. A co-ordinated package of support is critical to ensure people with dementia can understand and adjust to their diagnosis.

“Right now dementia support is going backwards and deaths are still too high, particularly in our most deprived communities.”