Alzheimer’s Deaths Continue to Rise

WHILE DEATHS FROM OTHER DISEASES, such as heart disease, HIV/AIDS and stroke, continue to experience significant declines, Alzheimer’s deaths continue to rise — increasing 68% from 2000-2010.

Below are some “Quick Facts” from the Alzheimer’s Association 2013 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures:

Alzheimer’s diseases is the

sixth leading cause of death
in the United States.

More than 5 million Americans
are living with the disease.
1-in-3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s
or another dementia.
In 2012, 15.4 million caregivers
provided more than 17.5 billion
hours of unpaid care
valued at $216 billion.
Nearly 15% of caregivers for people
with Alzheimer’s or another
dementia are long-distance
caregivers.
In 2013, Alzheimer’s will cost
the nation $204 billion.
This number is expected to rise
to $1.2 trillion by 2050.

Prevalence

An estimated 5.2 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s disease in 2013. This includes an estimated 5 million people age 65 and older and approximately 200,000 individuals younger than age 65 who have younger-onset Alzheimer’s.

The number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias will grow as the U.S. population age 65 and older continues to increase. By 2025, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease is estimated to reach 7.1 million—a 40 percent increase from the 5 million age 65 and older currently affected. By 2050, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease may nearly triple, from 5 million to a projected 13.8 million, barring the development of medical breakthroughs to prevent, slow or stop the disease.

Mortality

Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States overall and the 5th leading cause of death for those aged 65 and older. It is the only cause of death among the top 10 in America without a way to prevent it, cure it or even slow its progression. Deaths from Alzheimer’s increased 68 percent between 2000 and 2010, while deaths from other major diseases, including the number one cause of death (heart disease), decreased.

While ambiguity about the underlying cause of death can make it difficult to determine how many people die from Alzheimer’s, there are no survivors. If you do not die from Alzheimer’s disease, you die with it. One in every three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.

Impact on Caregivers 

In 2012, 15.4 million family and friends provided 17.5 billion hours of unpaid care to those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias — care valued at $216.4 billion, which is more than eight times the total sales of McDonald’s in 2011. Eighty percent of care provided in the community is provided by unpaid caregivers.Nearly 15 percent of caregivers are long-distance caregivers, living an hour or more away from their loved ones. Out-of-pocket expenses for long-distance caregivers are nearly twice as much as local caregivers.

More than 60 percent of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers rate the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high; more than one-third report symptoms of depression. Due to the physical and emotional toll of caregiving, Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers had $9.1 billion in additional health care costs of their own in 2012.

Cost to the Nation

In 2013, the direct costs of caring for those with Alzheimer’s to American society will total an estimated $203 billion, including $142 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid. Total payments for health care, long-term care and hospice for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias are projected to increase from $203 billion in 2013 to $1.2 trillion in 2050 (in current dollars). This dramatic rise includes a 500% increase in combined Medicare and Medicaid spending.

Nearly 30 percent of people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias are on both Medicare and Medicaid, compared to 11 percent of individuals without these conditions.

The average per-person Medicare costs for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias are three times higher than for those without these conditions; the average per-person Medicaid spending for seniors with Alzheimer’s and other dementias is 19 times higher than average per-person Medicaid spending for all other seniors.

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