Alzheimer's, dementia rate to double in United States by 2060

Henrietta Strickland
September 23, 2018

The number of people surviving with Alzheimer's disease, associated dementias will double by 2060 as per the new inquiry from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It 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 Robert Redfield, MD, said in a statement.

But that number is estimated to increase to 13.9 million by 2060, equaling almost 3.3 percent of a projected population of 417 million people. In the United States, more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease, the sixth-leading cause of death in America and the only disease among the top ten causes that can not be cured, prevented or even slowed. The increases are a result of people living longer.

World Alzheimer's Day, which is observed on September 21, is an global campaign aimed at raising awareness and to challenge the common stigma that surrounds Alzheimer's.

But we are making little progress against Alzheimer's and the CDC's latest figures suggest that the burden of the disease will only loom larger as time goes on.

Alzheimer's disease is the most prevalent form of dementia.

"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. The researchers suppose Hispanic Americans will have the highest escalation because of the anticipated population growth in the forthcoming decades. While Alzheimer's is the fifth leading cause of death for Americans aged 65 years and older, the findings also reveal a racial disparity. Since age is the greatest risk factor for dementia, it makes sense that rates of the disease will soar when the aging population has been growing.

September is observed as Alzheimer's Month and the focus is on early intervention by creating awareness about the warning symptoms of dementia. Chronic heavy drinking is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as more than 60 grams of pure alcohol - six or more standard drinks - a day for men, and more than 40 grams per day for women. Of people in that age group, African Americans have the highest prevalence of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias at 13.8%, followed by Hispanics at 12.2%, non-Hispanic whites at 10.3%, American Indian and Alaska Natives at 9.1%, and Asian and Pacific Islanders at 8.4%.

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