SEOUL, Dec. 30 (Korea Bizwire) — More than 1 in 10 South Korean senior citizens suffer from dementia, data showed Sunday, with the number of patients anticipated to reach 2 million by 2039 due to the rapidly aging population.
According to the data compiled by the National Institute of Dementia (NID), 10.2 percent of South Koreans aged 65 and above suffered from dementia as of 2018. It marked the first time for the figure to exceed the 10 percent mark, the institute said. Last year’s figure stood at 9.95 percent.
The number of patients came to 750,000, with males accounting for 275,000, while females made up a whopping 475,000. As for the age group of 60 and above, the figure came to 7.2 percent with 770,000 patients suffering from the illness.
The institute added the number of patients with dementia is expected to reach 1 million in 2024 and eventually hit the 2 million mark 15 years later.
The NID earlier expected the 2-million mark will be breached in 2041 in its previous research announced in 2012.
The figure is expected to grow to 3.03 million in 2050 as the number of old people in the country is expected to rise. The figure translates into 16 percent of seniors being afflicted with dementia in that year.
The findings also showed that illiterate people who are incapable of writing were 10.1 times more likely to suffer from dementia. Single people with deceased spouses were also 2.7 times more likely to suffer from the disorder than couples.