Facts & Stats

Alzheimer’s is an epidemic in San Diego and Nationwide

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Prevalence

Every 67 seconds, someone in America develops Alzheimer’s. It is estimated that nearly 500,000 new cases of Alzheimer’s disease will be diagnosed this year. Get the facts about Alzheimer’s disease—the most common form of dementia.

  • Of the 5.3 million Americans with Alzheimer’s, an estimated 5.1 million people are age 65 and older, and approximately 200,000 individuals are under age 65 (younger-onset Alzheimer’s).
  • Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women. Of the 5.1 million people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s in the United States, 3.2 million are women and 1.9 million are men.
  • Although there are more non-Hispanic whites living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias than people of any other racial or ethnic group in the United States, older African-Americans and Hispanics are more likely than older whites to have Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

The number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias will grow each year as the size and proportion of the U.S. population age 65 and older continue to increase. By 2025, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease is estimated to reach 7.1 million — a 40 percent increase from the 5.1 million age 65 and older affected in 2015. By 2050, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease may nearly triple, from 5.1 million to a projected 13.8 million, barring the development of medical breakthroughs to prevent or cure the disease.

Mortality

In 2015, an estimated 700,000 people in the United States age 65 and older will die with Alzheimer’s. As the population of the United States ages, Alzheimer’s is becoming a more common cause of death. Although deaths from other major causes have decreased significantly, official records indicate that deaths from Alzheimer’s disease have increased significantly.

Between 2000 and 2013, deaths attributed to Alzheimer’s disease increased 71 percent, while those attributed to the number one cause of death—heart disease—decreased 14 percent. Alzheimer’s is the only disease among the top 10 causes of death in America that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.

Impact On Caregivers

In 2014, friends and family of people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias provided an estimated 17.9 billion hours of unpaid care, a contribution to the nation valued at $217.7 billion. This is approximately 46 percent of the net value of Walmart sales in 2013 and nearly eight times the total revenue of McDonald’s in 2013.

  • Approximately two-thirds of caregivers are women and 34 percent are age 65 or older.
  • Forty-one percent of caregivers have a household income of $50,000 or less.
  • Over half of primary caregivers of people with dementia take care of parents.
  • It is estimated that 250,000 children and young adults between ages 8 and 18 provide help to someone with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia.

Alzheimer’s takes a devastating toll on caregivers. Nearly 60 percent of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers rate the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high; about 40 percent suffer from depression. Due to the physical and emotional toll of caregiving, Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers had $9.7 billion in additional health care costs of their own in 2014.

Cost To Nation

Alzheimer’s disease is the most expensive disease in America today.

  • In 2015, the direct costs to American society of caring for those with Alzheimer’s will total an estimated $226 billion, with half of the costs borne by Medicare.
  • Average per-person Medicare spending for people age 65 or older with Alzheimer’s and other dementias is three times higher than for seniors without dementia. Medicaid payments are 19 times higher.
  • Nearly one in every five Medicare dollars is spent on people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. In 2050, it will be one in every three dollars.

Unless something is done, in 2050, Alzheimer’s is projected to cost over $1.1 trillion (in 2015 dollars). This dramatic rise includes a five-fold increase in government spending under Medicare and Medicaid and a nearly five-fold increase in out-of pocket spending.

Sources: 

Hebert LE, Weuve J, Scherr PA, Evans DA. Alzheimer’s disease in the United States (2010-2050) estimated using the 2010 Census. Neurology. Available at www.neurology.org/content/early/2013/02/06/WNL.0b013e31828726f5.abstract. Published online before print, Feb. 6, 2013.

Hirtz D, Thurman DJ,Gwinn‐Hardy K, Mohamed M, Chaudhuri AR, Zalutsky R.How common are the “common” neurologic disorders?Neurology 2007;68:326‐37.

World Alzheimer Report 2015 the Global Impact Of Dementia An Analysis Of Prevalence, Incidence, Cost and Trends, p.7 http://www.alz.co.uk/research/WorldAlzheimerReport2015.pdf, and World Alzheimer Report 2015 the Global Impact Of Dementia An Analysis Of Prevalence, Incidence, Cost and Trends Summary Sheet, p.1 http://www.alz.co.uk/research/WorldAlzheimerReport2015-sheet.pdf

Alzheimer’sDisease International World Alzheimer Report 2010: The Global Economic Impact of Dementia: Executive Summary,” Prof Anders Wimo, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden Prof Martin Prince, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London,UK. Published by Alzheimer’sDisease International (ADI) 21 September 2010