Growing Numbers Of People With Alzheimers In The Us
About 6.2 million people in the United States are living with Alzheimers disease. Of the total U.S. population, more than 1 in 9 people age 65 and older has Alzheimers. The percentage of people with Alzheimers increases with age: 5.3% of people ages 65 to 74, 13.8% of people ages 75 to 84, and 34.6% of people 85 and older.
Risk Factors And Prevention
Although age is the strongest known risk factor for dementia, it is not an inevitable consequence of biological ageing. Further, dementia does not exclusively affect older people young onset dementia accounts for up to 9% of cases. Studies show that people can reduce their risk of cognitive decline and dementia by being physically active, not smoking, avoiding harmful use of alcohol,controlling their weight, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Additional risk factors include depression, social isolation, low educational attainment, cognitive inactivity and air pollution.
Figure : Mortality Rates Due To Dementia And Alzheimers Disease Were Highest In Those Of The White Ethnic Background Aged Over 65 Years
Age standardised mortality rate for deaths due to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by ethnic group, aged 65 years and over, England and Wales, 2019
In this section mortality data have been linked to Census data. The study population included all usual residents coded to an ethnic group in 2011 and not known to have died before 1 January 2019. Those enumerated in 2011 answering the “Intention to stay” question, because they had entered the UK in the year before the 2011 Census took place, were excluded from the analyses because of their high propensity to have left the UK before the analysis period under investigation.
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How Common Is Alzheimers Disease
Alzheimers disease is the most common cause of dementia . Alzheimers disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
One in 10 people older than 65 and nearly half of people older than 85 have Alzheimers disease. Alzheimers disease can also affect people in their 40s. The percentage of people who have Alzheimers disease rises every decade beyond the age of 60. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, with the aging of the population and without successful treatment, there will be 14 million Americans and 106 million people worldwide with Alzheimers disease by 2050.
Figure : Dementia And Alzheimers Disease Had The Highest Number Of Mentions For Deaths Due To Dementia And Alzheimers Disease In Part I Of The Death Certificate
Number of mentions in Part I, Line A of the death certificate, by leading cause, England and Wales, 2019
For this section, Part I of the death certificate has been analysed in relation to comorbidities. This outlines the immediate cause of death.
The conditions mentioned on Part I of the death certificate showed that dementia and Alzheimerâs disease had the highest number of mentions .
Other top 10 causes mentioned on Part I for deaths due to dementia and Alzheimerâs disease also included: symptoms, signs and ill-defined conditions, influenza and pneumonia and acute respiratory infections other than influenza and pneumonia . This indicated that these diseases or conditions led directly to a personâs death and were preceded by dementia and Alzheimerâs disease.
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Alzheimers Is The Most
- Retirees are more fearful of Alzheimers than infectious diseases such as COVID-19, as well as cancer, strokes or heart attacks.
- Findings showed one-in-three of retirees listed Alzheimers as the chronic disease they feared most, 11 points higher than cancer and 13 points more than contagious diseases such as COVID-19.
You Can Buy Supplements Online To Prevent Or Cure Alzheimers Disease
There are many websites and advertisements that promise certain supplements can effectively treat or cure diseases such as Alzheimers. In some cases, these may seem reliable, offering advice on healthy aging and Alzheimer’s to gain peoples trust and promote their products. However, there is no scientific evidence backing these claims, and currently, no supplement has been proven to delay, prevent, treat, or cure Alzheimers.
Talk with your doctor before taking any supplements or trying any other new treatments.
Find tips to help determine whether an online health information article is reliable.
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If Im Frequently Forgetting Things It Must Be Alzheimers Disease
Even though memory problems are typically one of the first signs of Alzheimers, not all memory problems mean a person has the disease. Some forgetfulness is normal as we age.
Talk with your doctor to determine whether the memory changes youre noticing are normal or may be a sign of something more serious. In some cases, depression or medication side effects can cause memory and other thinking problems. With treatment, it may be possible to reverse some memory problems due to these reasons.
Learn more about whats normal memory loss and whats not.
How Is Alzheimers Disease Diagnosed
Doctors use several methods and tools to help determine whether a person who is having memory problems has Alzheimers disease.
To diagnose Alzheimers, doctors may:
- Ask the person and a family member or friend questions about overall health, use of prescription and over-the-counter medicines, diet, past medical problems, ability to carry out daily activities, and changes in behavior and personality.
- Conduct tests of memory, problem solving, attention, counting, and language.
- Carry out standard medical tests, such as blood and urine tests, to identify other possible causes of the problem.
- Perform brain scans, such as computed tomography , magnetic resonance imaging , or positron emission tomography , to support an Alzheimers diagnosis or to rule out other possible causes for symptoms.
These tests may be repeated to give doctors information about how the persons memory and other cognitive functions are changing over time.
People with memory and thinking concerns should talk to their doctor to find out whether their symptoms are due to Alzheimers or another cause, such as stroke, tumor, Parkinsons disease, sleep disturbances, side effects of medication, an infection, or another type of dementia. Some of these conditions may be treatable and possibly reversible.
In addition, an early diagnosis provides people with more opportunities to participate in clinical trials or other research studies testing possible new treatments for Alzheimers.
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How Is Alzheimers Diagnosed And Treated
Doctors may ask questions about health, conduct cognitive tests, and carry out standard medical tests to determine whether to diagnose a person with Alzheimers disease. If a doctor thinks a person may have Alzheimers, they may refer the person to a specialist, such as a neurologist, for further assessment. Specialists may conduct additional tests, such as brain scans or lab tests of spinal fluid, to help make a diagnosis. These tests measure signs of the disease, such as changes in brain size or levels of certain proteins.
There is currently no cure for Alzheimers, though there are several medicines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that can help manage some symptoms of the disease along with coping strategies to manage behavioral symptoms. In 2021, FDA provided accelerated approval for a new medication, aducanumab, that targets the protein beta-amyloid, which accumulates abnormally in the brains of people with Alzheimers. The new medication helps to reduce amyloid deposits, but has not yet been shown to affect clinical symptoms or outcomes, such as progression of cognitive decline or dementia.
Most medicines work best for people in the early or middle stages of Alzheimers. Researchers are exploring other drug therapies and nondrug interventions to delay or prevent the disease as well as treat its symptoms.
Im Not A Scientist I Cant Do Anything To Help Fight Alzheimers Disease
Even if you are not a scientist, there are many ways that you can help advance Alzheimers disease research! Volunteers participating in clinical trials and studies have led to meaningful advancements in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of Alzheimers. By joining a trial or study, you become a partner in helping researchers advance their knowledge toward effective diagnostics, treatments, and preventions. All types of volunteers are needed, including people living with dementia, caregivers, and healthy volunteers.
As a family member or friend of a person living with Alzheimers, you can also help by offering support, such as learning tips for communication or finding suitable activities. You can also offer help by supporting caregivers of people with Alzheimers or a related dementia.
This content is provided by the NIH National Institute on Aging . NIA scientists and other experts review this content to ensure it is accurate and up to date.
Content reviewed: August 04, 2021
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What Are The Warning Signs Of Alzheimers Disease
Watch this video Memory Loss is Not a Normal Part of Aging
Alzheimers disease is not a normal part of aging. Memory problems are typically one of the first warning signs of Alzheimers disease and related dementias.
In addition to memory problems, someone with symptoms of Alzheimers disease may experience one or more of the following:
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life, such as getting lost in a familiar place or repeating questions.
- Trouble handling money and paying bills.
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure.
- Misplacing things and being unable to retrace steps to find them.
- Changes in mood, personality, or behavior.
Even if you or someone you know has several or even most of these signs, it doesnt mean its Alzheimers disease. Know the 10 warning signs .
Figure : Dementia And Alzheimers Disease Had The Highest Number Of Mentions For Deaths Due To Dementia And Alzheimers Disease In Part Ii Of The Death Certificate
Number of mentions in Part II of the death certificate, by leading cause, England and Wales, 2019
Part II of the death certificate is where a cause can be noted on a death certificate as contributing to the death but not related to the disease or condition causing it. However, for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, coding changes that took place in 2014 can mean this is not the case.
The coding changes included a change in the coding of chest infections which contributed to a reduction of 2.5% in deaths allocated an underlying cause of respiratory disease and an increase of 7.0% in those allocated to the mental and behavioural disorders chapter, which includes dementia.
Deaths given an underlying cause of dementia were also increased by a rule change to count aspiration pneumonia as being a consequence of one of a number of other conditions. The total percentage change in deaths attributed to an underlying cause of dementia was 7.1%.
This means that there are coding rules that state conditions like aspiration pneumonia and chest infections can be a consequence of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. This results in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease being selected as the underlying cause of death, even if it is recorded as a contributory factor in Part II. A plausible causal chain can be created by including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease even if it is recorded in Part II, which is why it is then selected as the underlying cause of death.
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What To Do If You Suspect Alzheimers Disease
Getting checked by your healthcare provider can help determine if the symptoms you are experiencing are related to Alzheimers disease, or a more treatable conditions such as a vitamin deficiency or a side effect from medication. Early and accurate diagnosis also provides opportunities for you and your family to consider financial planning, develop advance directives, enroll in clinical trials, and anticipate care needs.
Disproportionate Impact On Women
Globally, dementia has a disproportionate impact on women. Sixty-five percent of total deaths due to dementia are women, and disability-adjusted life years due to dementia are roughly 60% higher in women than in men. Additionally, women providethe majority of informal care for people living with dementia, accounting for 70% of carer hours.
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What Every Alzheimers Caregiver Should Know About This Leading Cause Of Disability
New research sheds light on one of the most common problems in older people: falls, which are of particular concern for someone with Alzheimers disease. Learning more about what causes falls, and why its so important to avoid them, can go a long way in helping anyone who is caring for a loved one with dementia.
Falls typically lead to hip fractures, which are a leading cause of disability in the elderly. For the study, presented at the 2022 Congress of the European Academy of Neurology, researchers analyzed the medical records of 122,614 older men and women in Sweden who had suffered a hip fracture between 2010 and 2018.
The researchers found that people with Alzheimers disease are six times more likely to have a serious fall than those of a similar age who do not have dementia, and are far more likely to die as a result. People with Alzheimers who fall and break a hip also typically require many additional months of recuperation following hip surgery to repair the fracture before they can walk again.
Examples of psychotropic medications include antipsychotics like risperidone, quetiapine and haloperidol benzodiazepines like diazepam, oxazepam and lorazepam and antidepressants like sertraline , escitalopram and fluoxetine .
Finally, regular vision check-ups are important for people of all ages, particularly seniors. Eye problems like cataracts, for example, make it difficult to see and can increase the chance of falls, but are easily corrected.
Common Complications Of Alzheimers Disease That Cause Death
A lack of self-awareness and self-care, prolonged confinement to a bed, feeding failure, inability to receive proper nutrition and dehydration are all factors in the development of other life-threatening health conditions in dementia patients. While brain damage associated with AD is the driving force behind the patients cognitive decline and incapacitation, these secondary illnesses and conditions are ultimately responsible for causing the patients physical decline and death.
Complications of Alzheimers disease are commonly cited as such on death certificates. Because of this, deaths with a primary cause of AD and related dementias are seriously underreported. This is especially true since dementia can go unnoticed as it progresses slowly over the course of many years. Furthermore, a significant number of patients never receive an official neurological diagnosis while alive or after they have died.
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Emotion And Behavior Treatments
The emotional and behavioral changes linked with Alzheimers disease can be challenging to manage. People may increasingly experience irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, sleep problems, and other difficulties.
Treating the underlying causes of these changes can be helpful. Some may be side effects of medications, discomfort from other medical conditions, or problems with hearing or vision.
Identifying what triggered these behaviors and avoiding or changing these things can help people deal with the changes. Triggers may include changing environments, new caregivers, or being asked to bathe or change clothes.
It is often possible to change the environment to resolve obstacles and boost the persons comfort, security, and peace of mind.
The Alzheimers Association offer a list of helpful coping tips for caregivers.
In some cases, a doctor may recommend medications for these symptoms, such as:
- antidepressants, for low mood
develops due to the death of brain cells. It is a neurodegenerative condition, which means that the brain cell death happens over time.
In a person with Alzheimers, the brain tissue has fewer and fewer nerve cells and connections, and tiny deposits, known as plaques and tangles, build up on the nerve tissue.
Plaques develop between the dying brain cells. They are made from a protein known as beta-amyloid. The tangles, meanwhile, occur within the nerve cells. They are made from another protein, called tau.
How Many Americans Have Alzheimers Disease
Estimates vary, but experts suggest that more than 6 million Americans age 65 and older may have Alzheimers. Many more under age 65 also have the disease. Unless Alzheimer’s can be effectively treated or prevented, the number of people with it will increase significantly if current population trends continue. This is because increasing age is the most important known risk factor for Alzheimers disease.
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Caring For Someone With Alzheimers Disease
Caring for someone with Alzheimers disease can be hard but also rewarding. Your emotional and physical support will be a great help when the person’s world seems confusing and hostile. Take advantage of the community support thats available for people with Alzheimers disease, their families and carers.
Data Coverage Timeliness And Registration Delays
Figures in this release represent the number of deaths registered in the calendar year: this includes some deaths that occurred in the years prior to this calendar year, while a proportion of deaths occurring in this year will not be registered until subsequent years.
Data for England and Wales combined include deaths of non-residents. Deaths for England and Wales separately covers deaths of usual residents of each country. In 2019 there were 1,288 deaths of non-residents that were registered in England and Wales.
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What Is The Burden Of Alzheimers Disease In The United States
- Alzheimers disease is one of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States.2
- The 6th leading cause of death among US adults.
- The 5th leading cause of death among adults aged 65 years or older.3
In 2020, an estimated 5.8 million Americans aged 65 years or older had Alzheimers disease.1 This number is projected to nearly triple to 14 million people by 2060.1
In 2010, the costs of treating Alzheimers disease were projected to fall between $159 and $215 billion.4 By 2040, these costs are projected to jump to between $379 and more than $500 billion annually.4
Death rates for Alzheimers disease are increasing, unlike heart disease and cancer death rates that are on the decline.5 Dementia, including Alzheimers disease, has been shown to be under-reported in death certificates and therefore the proportion of older people who die from Alzheimers may be considerably higher.6