A new study by researchers at the Institute of Public Health at Cambridge University states that the proportion of British people aged 65 and above with dementia fell by more than a fifth in 2011 compared with what it was predicted to be a decade earlier.
According to the researchers, studies in other European countries show a similar trend.
The researchers found a 43% fall in the prevalence of dementia in men aged 65 and older between 1987 and 1996 in Zaragoza. Moreover, the dementia incidence had also declined in Sweden and the Netherlands.
Researchers pointed out that much of the evidence pointing to dementia 'epidemic' was based on out-dated research started in the 1980s. Since then, the picture had been altered by improvements in living conditions, health care and lifestyle.
"The suggested decrease in dementia occurrence coincides with improvements in protective factors, such as education and living conditions, for dementia and a general reduction in risk factors, such as vascular diseases, over recent decades.
Incidence and deaths from major cardiovascular diseases have decreased in high-income countries since the 1980s," said lead researcher Professor Carol Brayne, from the University.
Brayne also said that we are seeing the results of improvements in prevention and treatment of key cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol reflected in the risk of developing dementia.
Around 850,000 people in the UK are affected by dementia, more than 60% of whom have Alzheimer's disease.