Dementia is now the leading cause of death for women in Australia.

ABS data released today confirms that 8 447 women lost their lives to dementia in 2016, surpassing heart disease for the first time ever.

In 2016 dementia was the underlying cause of death for around 36 Australians every day and the second leading cause of all deaths.

While the comparative rise in dementia is partly due to improvements in treatments and prevention of other leading causes of death, it is a deeply concerning trend.

Dementia is not a normal part of growing old – it is a serious and debilitating condition that is impacting on and taking the lives of more and more Australians.

Labor reaffirms its commitment to fighting the insidious disease of dementia.

We must continue to invest in research to find a cure and do more to make our communities liveable places for people with dementia.

The rate of younger onset dementia also continues to rise, with more than 25 000 younger people in Australia currently living with the condition.

Dementia as a cause of death continues to rank higher in Australia than other similar high income countries.

It is time for a stronger public focus on dementia and greater leadership from the Federal Government to bring the community together to fight dementia.

People living with dementia and their families cannot afford to wait any longer – the economic and social cost is already too great and is increasing.