2010 Alzheimer's Facts and Figures Report Available

The Alzheimer’s Association has just published its 2010 annual Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures.  This report details the escalation of Alzheimer’s, which currently impacts over 5 million Americans.  Facts and Figures conveys the burden of Alzheimer’s and dementia on our lives and our economy from individuals, families, local and state government up to the nation’s healthcare implications.  The report details recent research that indicates higher risks of developing Alzheimer’s for certain ethnic and cultural groups.

Some of highlighted items from the report are:

  • There are indications that management of cardiovascular risk factors, such as high cholesterol, Type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, obesity and physical inactivity may help avoid or delay cognitive decline.
  • One in eight people aged 65 and older (13%) have Alzheimer’s disease
    • 16% of women 71 and older have Alzheimer's
    • 14% of men over 71 have Alzheimer's
    • The higher frequency of occurrence in women over men appears to be only related to the fact that woman typically live longer than men.
  • People with fewer years of education appear to be at higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.  The underlying causes of this difference is debated amongst researchers.
  • Populations in the Southern, Midwestern and Western areas of the United States are expected to experience increases that will result in 30- to 50-percent (and greater) increases over the next 15 years.
  • Western states including Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming are forecast to experience a doubling (or more) of their populations with Alzheimer’s by 2025.
    • Colorado is estimated to have 72,000 Alzheimer's citizens today, that number is expected to grow to 110,00 by 2025.
  • A study of community-based seniors reports that most have changes in their brain that suggests the presence of dementia-causing diseases.
  • New studies show that the underlying causes of dementia are far more complicated that previously believed.
  • It is expected that there will be 454,000 new cases of Alzheimer's diagnosed in 2010.
  • The number of people 85 or older is expected to quadruple in the next 40 years.
  • Alzheimer's is the 5th leading cause of death in seniors 65 and older.
  • In the 6 years from 2000 to 2006 there was more than a 46% increase in Alzheimer's deaths.  During that same period that was an 18% decrease in stroke deaths and more than a 2% decline in breast cancer deaths.
  • Almost 11 million people provide unpaid care for individual with dementia...that's more than 3.5% of the US population.
  • In 2009 unpaid caregivers provided 12.5 billion hours of unpaid care (estimated to be valued at nearly $144 billion at $11.50 per hour).
  • The report also includes a special report on Race, Ethnicity and Alzheimer's disease.  It reports that African-Americans and Hispanics seniors appear to be more likely than older Caucasians  to have Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.  Some studies indicate that African-Americans have more than double the odds of developing Alzheimer's.  High blood pressure and diabetes, are more common in older African-Americans and Hispanics .  It is possible that these conditions which are risk factors for Alzheimer's account for some of the differences in frequency of diagnosis.