Rise of patients in 40s suffering from dementia: Researchers warn of ‘silent epidemic’ of early onset of the disease

People are getting dementia earlier, with those in their late 40s now regularly diagnosed with the disease.

Two decades ago, early-onset dementia was usually diagnosed in patients in their late 60s – but it is now often striking those who are even younger, a study found.

Researchers warned of a ‘silent epidemic’ and believe environmental factors are playing a key role in its increasingly early development.

While the study found no single factor was responsible for the rise, pollution from aeroplanes and cars is believed to play a ‘major part’.

Colin Pritchard, a researcher from Bournemouth University, told The Times: ‘The rate of increase in such a short time suggests a silent or even a “hidden” epidemic, in which environmental factors must play a major part, not just ageing.’