Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, remains the leading cause of death in England and Wales, figures show.
New data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows the condition accounted for 12% of all deaths registered in 2016, up from 11.6% in 2015.
Last year, dementia overtook heart disease as the leading cause of death.
Heart disease remains in second place, accounting for 11% of all deaths registered in 2016, down from 11.5% in 2015.
When it comes to differences between the sexes, men are more likely to die from heart disease (13.7% of all male deaths), while women are more likely to die from dementia (15.6% of all female deaths).
Vasita Patel, from the ONS, said: “Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease was once again the leading cause of death for England and Wales in 2016, with an increase in number of deaths compared with 2015.
“Although general increases in longevity and improved treatment of other conditions are part of the reason for this increase, improvements in recognition, identification and diagnosis of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease have also contributed.”
Nicola O’Brien, head of policy and campaigns at the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “This is a further wake-up call that the UK is woefully underprepared to cope with the scale of the challenge.
“Dementia is both a terminal illness, and a condition that people can live with for many years, but our health and social care system is not in a position to cope.
“As a result, we know thousands and thousands of people with dementia aren’t getting access to the right care and support to allow them to live well, and to die well.”