CDC: Alzheimer's disease, dementia cases to double by 2060

23 September, 2018, 18:24 | Author: Veronica Peterson
  • Rocket Bakery barista Tegan Mac Phail prepares an espresso for a customer during the kickoff of the Alzheimer Society of Newfoundland and Labrador Coffee Break fundraiser Thursday morning

"This study shows that as the US population increases, the number of people affected by Alzheimer's disease and related dementias will rise, especially among minority populations", CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield added.

A staggering 50 million people around the world have dementia, and Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of the brain condition. By 2060, this number could rise up to 13.9 million, constituting more than 3 percent of the national population.

Of the 5 million Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer's or related dementias in 2014, the lowest prevalence was in Asian and Pacific Islanders (8.4 percent) and the highest in African-Americans (13.8 percent). But as more people live longer, the numbers will inevitably go up.

By 2060, almost 417 million, or 3.3%, are expected to be diagnosed, according to the study, which was published in Alzheimer's and Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association and coincides with World Alzheimer's Day, a global Alzheimer's awareness day that falls on September 21, 2018.

Alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the fifth leading cause among those aged 65 and older.

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According to the study, the highest number of cases have the non-Hispanic whites because of the size of the population, but the highest projected increase is faced by Hispanics.

By 2060, the CDC researchers estimated that 3.2 million Hispanics and 2.2 million black Americans will be afflicted with Alzheimer's or a related dementia.

The nationwide survey, conducted by Harris polling on behalf of the Banner Alzheimer's Institute and pharmaceutical companies Novartis and Amgen, also showed that most American adults want to participate in medical research. The team say the findings could not only be used to help identify those who have the disease earlier, but also to potentially treat, slow or prevent the disease process early on.

"Early diagnosis is key to helping people and their families cope with loss of memory, navigate the health care system, and plan for their care in the future", he said in a CDC news release.

"It is important for people who think their daily lives are impacted by memory loss to discuss these concerns with a health care provider", said Kevin Matthews, Ph.D., health geographer and lead author of the study. More than 12 percent of older Hispanics have Alzheimer's, while 10 percent of whites over 65 have the disease.

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