Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the sixth leading cause of all deaths in the United States and is the fifth leading cause of death in Americans aged ≥65 years. Although other major causes of death have been on the decrease, deaths because of AD have been rising dramatically. Between 2000 and 2008 (preliminary data), heart disease deaths decreased by 13%, stroke deaths by 20%, and prostate cancer-related deaths by 8%, whereas deaths because of AD increased by 66%. An estimated 5.4 million Americans have AD; approximately 200,000 people aged <65 years with AD comprise the younger-onset AD population. Every 69 seconds, someone in America develops AD; by 2050, the time is expected to accelerate to every 33 seconds. Over the coming decades, the baby boom population is projected to add 10 million people to these numbers. In 2050, the incidence of AD is expected to approach nearly a million people per year, with a total estimated prevalence of 11 to 16 million people. Dramatic increases in the numbers of "oldest-old" (those aged ≥85 years) across all racial and ethnic groups will also significantly affect the numbers of people living with AD. In 2010, nearly 15 million family and other unpaid caregivers provided an estimated 17 billion hours of care to people with AD and other dementias, a contribution valued at more than $202 billion. Medicare payments for services to beneficiaries aged ≥65 years with AD and other dementias are almost 3 times higher than for beneficiaries without these conditions. Total payments in 2011 for health care, long-term care, and hospice services for people aged ≥65years with AD and other dementias are expected to be $183 billion (not including the contributions of unpaid caregivers). This report provides information to increase understanding of the public health effect of AD, including incidence and prevalence, mortality, health expenditures and costs of care, and effect on caregivers and society in general. The report also examines the current state of AD detection and diagnosis, focusing on the benefits of early detection and the factors that present challenges to accurate diagnosis.
Copyright © 2011 The Alzheimer's Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.