More than 2,000 people are suffering from dementia in Cheshire West and Chester as the disease becomes the number one killer in the country.

Data released by the NHS reveals one in every 120 people registered to a GP in West Cheshire is living with the brain disease.

The number of people diagnosed with dementia in the area has risen almost four per cent in the last year alone.

It is understood the increase in dementia, which has overtaken heart disease as the leading cause of death in England and Wales, is partly due to an aging population.

While the effects of dementia can be slowed down with drugs, there is currently no cure.

Jo Hawkins, operations manager for the Cheshire Alzheimer’s Society, said: “The news that dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are the leading cause of death in England and Wales is a stark reminder that dementia remains a growing concern across the country.

“While the news represents improvements in diagnosis rates, general awareness and the accuracy of reporting, it also reflects that there are rising numbers of people with dementia.

“While there remains no cure for the condition, everyone who develops it will sadly still have the disease when they die.

“It is therefore essential that people have access to the right support and services to help them live well with dementia and that research into better care, treatments and eventually a cure remain high on the agenda.

“Alzheimer’s Society provides a wide range of support in Cheshire West and Chester including singing for the brain, memory cafés, peer support groups, carer information programmes as well as the help of specialist dementia advisors and dementia support workers.”

For more information about these services, contact the Alzheimer’s Society on 01606 781110.