Who gets dementia?

There are currently around 850,000 people in the UK with dementia. Read who is most likely to be affected.

Dementia mainly affects people over the age of 65 (one in 14 people in this age group have dementia), and the likelihood of developing dementia increases significantly with age.

However, dementia can affect younger people too. There are more than 42,000 people in the UK under 65 with dementia.

What are the risk factors for dementia?

If you, or someone you know, has developed dementia, it is natural to ask why. It is not usually possible to say for certain, although a doctor may be able to say which factor(s) might have contributed. In most cases a mixture of risk factors – potentially avoidable and not – will be responsible.

Find out more about risk factors for dementia

Use our interactive tool to understand risk factors, and read more about the research evidence behind the newspaper headlines.

Use our tool

Is dementia inherited?

Scientists are investigating how dementia might run in the family. In a very small number of people, certain types of dementia are inherited as a single gene that directly causes the disease. People with one of these genes will usually get dementia before the age of 65.

Everyone else will inherit a combination of genes that increases or decreases their risk of developing dementia in much less direct ways.

Genetics of dementia

Read about genetics and how they affect your chance of getting dementia.

Read more