The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has released the latest figures for deaths registered in England and Wales in 2014,
There were 501,424 deaths registered in England and Wales in 2014. The leading cause of death for females was dementia and Alzheimer's disease, and for males the leading cause of death was ischaemic heart disease.
A total of 51,498 deaths were caused by dementia and Alzheimer's disease, with 34,321 of these recorded among women.
Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive at Alzheimer's Society said:
'It's saddening to see that a tenth of all recorded deaths are due to dementia and Alzheimer's disease - an increase on last year's figures. It is an alarming reminder of the desperate need for more investment into research to ultimately find a cure. In the short term, better quality and more accessible palliative care needs to be available to people with dementia who often have less access to this type of care than people with other conditions, like cancer.
'With 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to soar to one million by 2021, dementia is one of the biggest health and social care challenges we face today. Historically dementia was mistakenly seen by many clinicians as a natural part of ageing and, as such, they have failed to record it as a cause of death.'