First language Welsh speakers were diagnosed with dementia about three years later than those who spoke only English, a study has shown.
Bangor University experts said the findings suggested Welsh speakers might be less inclined to discuss their health or they may have a better support network and seek help later.
The study has been highlighted during Dementia Awareness Week.
There are about 45,000 people living with dementia in Wales.
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Dementia studies lecturer Dr Catrin Hedd Jones told Newyddion 9 the reasons behind the difference in diagnosis time could be due to a range of factors, including a reluctance to speak up sooner.
“If you’re from the area and you’ve got family you are going to be better supported,” she said.
Only English speakers moving to a new area might seek help earlier because they have less support, she added.
Earlier diagnosis means treatment and care can begin sooner.
The study focused on a small group of dementia sufferers in north Wales.
Dementia is now the leading cause of death in England and Wales, with the Alzheimer’s Society Cymru saying it costs Welsh society £1.4bn a year.
Glenda Roberts from Pwllheli, Gwynedd, was about 53-years-old when she was diagnosed with the disease.
“I was finding that I couldn’t do my work 100%,” the retired health care worker said.
“I couldn’t remember who took sugar in their tea, or I couldn’t remember who took milk. Just little things – but it wasn’t right, and I felt I was letting people down.
“Once I got the diagnosis it was a relief. I felt better because I knew what I was dealing with.”
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