Every year, researchers learn more and more about Alzheimer’s disease. Some of the most recent statistics can be quite frightening.
The Alzheimer’s Association publishes a yearly “Facts and Figures” report that details the complexities and costs associated with the disease. This report is given to caregivers throughout the United States and the healthcare system.
The following are 7 facts about Alzheimer’s disease:
- Over half of the 5.4 million Americans with the disease may not know they have it. Since it can be difficult to detect early-stage Alzheimer’s or mild cognitive impairment (MCI), many of those who have the disease remain undiagnosed. While our ability to detect Alzheimer’s at its early stages has improved over the years, the overall number of people known to have the disease will increase.
- More women have Alzheimer’s compared to men. Almost two-thirds of Americans who suffer from Alzheimer’s are women. It is important to understand that this doesn’t mean that there is a gender-based predisposition for the disease, the fact is that women tend to live longer than men.
- Alzheimer’s is the 6th-leading cause of death in the United States. This is due to the fact that we are experiencing more success in reducing the rate of death from other causes, such as heart disease.
- Symptoms of Alzheimer’s can begin to develop at the age of 30. Although this disease is associated with elder folks, up to 5% of American’s with Alzheimer’s have the early-onset variety, which can start to show signs as early as one’s 30s.
- The total cost of health and long-term care services for the disease is $259 billion. More than $56 billion of that amount was paid out of pocket, while approximately $175 billion was paid by Medicaid or Medicare.
- More than 15 million caregivers in the U.S. for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Family caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients provide 80% of the care at home, while 10% of seniors have all their care from paid health professionals.
- The occurrence of Alzheimer’s will increase to every 33 seconds by 2050. The rate at which the disease occurs – every 66 seconds in the United States – is estimated to double by 2050 due to the growing population of people over 65 years old. The number of people who live into their 80s and 90s is also expected to increase, which also increases the likelihood of Alzheimer’s.
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