People with dementia could be missing out on help and support in the early stages of the condition because of late diagnosis, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal today.
Scientists from the Medical Research Council analysed the health records of over 135,000 people aged 60 or over from more than 350 UK GP surgeries between 1990 and 2007.
The study found that survival rates were much lower for those diagnosed by their GP than those who are actively screened for dementia in research studies. It also found people with dementia were three times more likely to die in the first year after a GP diagnosis than people without dementia. Researchers claim this increased mortality rate could be the result of late diagnosis or diagnoses at a time of crisis.