Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health
New Alzheimer’s Report Shows It Marches on as a Top Killer of America’s Seniors
Cost of AD to reach $200 billion this year – most for Medicare, Medicaid; 1 of 7 AD patients lives alone - see video
8, 2012 - The Alzheimer’s Association today released the 2012 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures with some striking updates on
the disease pertaining to the continued increase in deaths, the spiraling cost to the U.S. and a little known fact that millions of
Alzheimer’s patients are left to live along.
In the highlights, the association points out, “Alzheimer’s is not just memory loss – Alzheimer’s kills.” The striking
news is that deaths from Alzheimer’s increased 66 percent from 2000 to 2008, while deaths from other major diseases, including the number one
cause of death - heart disease – decreased.
AD ranks 6th among the leading causes of death in the U.S., but it is the number 5 killer of senior citizens – people age
65 and older.
It is the only disease among the top 10 killing diseases in the U.S. without a cure, a prevention method or even a way to
slow its progress.
Here are the other highlights from the report.
The graying of America means the bankrupting of America – and Alzheimer’s is a major reason why.
• In 2012, the direct costs of caring for those with Alzheimer’s to American society will total an estimated $200
billion, including $140 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid.
• Average per person Medicare costs for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias are three times higher than for those
without these conditions. Medicaid spending is 19 times higher.
• Unless something is done, the costs of Alzheimer’s in 2050 are estimated to total $1.1 trillion (in today’s dollars).
Costs to Medicare and Medicaid will increase nearly 500 percent.
Alzheimer’s makes treating other diseases more expensive – increasing costs across the health care system.
• Most people with Alzheimer’s have one or more other serious medical conditions. Dementia complicates management of
• A senior with diabetes and Alzheimer’s costs Medicare 81 percent more than a senior who has diabetes but no
• A senior who has cancer and Alzheimer’s costs Medicare 53 percent more than a senior with cancer but no Alzheimer’s.
Costs are growing because the number of people with the disease is growing – and fast.
• Today, 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease – 5.2 million aged 65 and over, and 200,000 under the
age of 65. By 2050, up to 16 million will have the disease.
• Of Americans aged 65 and over, 1 in 8 has Alzheimer’s, and nearly half of people aged 85 and older have the disease.
• Another American develops Alzheimer’s disease every 68 seconds. In 2050, an American will develop the disease every 33
Many people with Alzheimer’s live alone – and are left to fend for themselves.
• An estimated 800,000 individuals with Alzheimer’s (more than one in seven) live alone.
• Of those who live alone, up to half of them do not have an identifiable caregiver.
• People with Alzheimer’s and other dementias who live alone are exposed to higher risks – including inadequate
self-care, malnutrition, untreated medical conditions, falls, wandering from home unattended, and accidental deaths – compared to those who do
not live alone.
With Alzheimer’s, it is not just those with the disease who suffer – it’s also their caregivers.
• In 2011, 15.2 million family and friends provided 17.4 billion hours of unpaid care to those with Alzheimer’s and other
dementias – care valued at $210.5 billion.
• More than 60 percent of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers rate the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very
high; one-third report symptoms of depression.
• Due to the physical and emotional toll of caregiving on their own health, Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers had $8.7
billion in additional health care costs in 2011.
Alzheimer’s is not just memory loss – Alzheimer’s kills.
• Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States and the 5th leading cause of death for those
aged 65 and older.
• Alzheimer’s is the only cause of death among the top 10 in America without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its
• Deaths from Alzheimer’s increased 66 percent between 2000 and 2008, while deaths from other major diseases, including
the number one cause of death (heart disease), decreased.
Facts in Your State
The 2012 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report also contains data on the impact of the disease in every state
across the nation.
Find the full report and information on your state at www.alz.org/facts.
>> Alzheimer's Association
>> SeniorJournal.com Headlines for Archived News Reports on Alzheimer's Disease,
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