2016 Alzheimer's disease facts and figures

Alzheimers Dement. 2016 Apr;12(4):459-509. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2016.03.001.


This report describes the public health impact of Alzheimer's disease, including incidence and prevalence, mortality rates, costs of care, and the overall impact on caregivers and society. It also examines in detail the financial impact of Alzheimer's on families, including annual costs to families and the difficult decisions families must often make to pay those costs. An estimated 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease. By mid-century, the number of people living with Alzheimer's disease in the United States is projected to grow to 13.8 million, fueled in large part by the aging baby boom generation. Today, someone in the country develops Alzheimer's disease every 66 seconds. By 2050, one new case of Alzheimer's is expected to develop every 33 seconds, resulting in nearly 1 million new cases per year. In 2013, official death certificates recorded 84,767 deaths from Alzheimer's disease, making it the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the fifth leading cause of death in Americans age ≥ 65 years. Between 2000 and 2013, deaths resulting from stroke, heart disease, and prostate cancer decreased 23%, 14%, and 11%, respectively, whereas deaths from Alzheimer's disease increased 71%. The actual number of deaths to which Alzheimer's disease contributes is likely much larger than the number of deaths from Alzheimer's disease recorded on death certificates. In 2016, an estimated 700,000 Americans age ≥ 65 years will die with Alzheimer's disease, and many of them will die because of the complications caused by Alzheimer's disease. In 2015, more than 15 million family members and other unpaid caregivers provided an estimated 18.1 billion hours of care to people with Alzheimer's and other dementias, a contribution valued at more than $221 billion. Average per-person Medicare payments for services to beneficiaries age ≥ 65 years with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias are more than two and a half times as great as payments for all beneficiaries without these conditions, and Medicaid payments are 19 times as great. Total payments in 2016 for health care, long-term care and hospice services for people age ≥ 65 years with dementia are estimated to be $236 billion. The costs of Alzheimer's care may place a substantial financial burden on families, who often have to take money out of their retirement savings, cut back on buying food, and reduce their own trips to the doctor. In addition, many family members incorrectly believe that Medicare pays for nursing home care and other types of long-term care. Such findings highlight the need for solutions to prevent dementia-related costs from jeopardizing the health and financial security of the families of people with Alzheimer's and other dementias.

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis
  • Alzheimer Disease / economics*
  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / therapy
  • Cost of Illness
  • Health Care Costs / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Public Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Research Report
  • United States / epidemiology