Alzheimer’s and dementia now account for more than one in every 10 deaths in Scotland, double the rate of a decade ago.
Data from the National Records of Scotland (NRS) showed a 15.8% increase in deaths from Alzheimer’s in the final three months of 2017 compared with 2016.
The number of deaths from dementia also rose by 12.3% over the same period.
The NRS said the rise was in part due to more accurate recording of the data.
The figures continue a trend that emerged in data from the second quarter of 2017 and which revealed a 33.4% rise in deaths from Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Provisional figures of births, marriages and deaths between October and December 2017 showed 12,821 births, 15,198 deaths and 5,975 marriages were registered in Scotland.
While the birth rate dropped 1.3% to its lowest quarter tally since 2000, the number of deaths registered was 4.3% up over the period and at its highest rate since 2003.
The most common cause of death was cancer, which accounted for 4,242 deaths – an increase of 5.9%.
However, deaths from respiratory system disease fell 7.2%, while deaths attributed to cerebrovascular disease fell by 5% to 1,018.
The NRS said: “Over the longer term, deaths from coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease have decreased considerably, whilst the number of deaths from cancer and respiratory disease has risen slightly.
“There has been a relatively large increase in the number of deaths from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease with such deaths now accounting for more than 10% of all deaths compared to 5% a decade ago.”
Of the marriages registered, 228 were same-sex marriages – a rise of 9.6% compared with the last quarter of 2016, with 31 registered as changes from civil partnerships.