Alzheimer's Facts and Figures

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation

Each year, the National Alzheimer's Association compiles facts and figures about Alzheimer's disease and releases a report that is both impressive and scary.  The 2011 report was issued earlier this week and can be downloaded here.

I encourage you to download the report and read it.  Here are a couple of the things that struck me:
  1. As recently as two years ago, most estimates of the annual cost of the disease to the US economy, were about $100B.  Many considered that estimate to be high and questioned its validity.  With arguably tighter measures yielding a more accurate estimate, this report has placed the annual cost of Alzheimer's disease at $183B.  That's "B" as in "Billion".
  2. Alzheimer's is the 6th leading cause of death in the US.  That is not startling.  However, the other 5 leading causes are all declining while deaths due to Alzheimer's disease increased by 68% last year.  That is eye-opening.
  3. There are an estimated 15 million unpaid caregivers for Alzheimer's patients in the US.  That's about 3 times as many unpaid care caregivers as there are patients.  This is clearly a disease that is not being effectively managed through more traditional health care channels and services.
This is a carefully researched and well prepared report.  I encourage you to download it and get familiar with the magnitude of the growing burden this disease carries.  It is sobering, but we all must face it.

1 comment :

  1. I've always had a poor memory, but it seemed to be getting worse so I took the Mini Mental test,which I flunked. When I said I never could have passed it that test at any age, they sent me to an all day session of testing with a Psychologist who gave me many different tests and said I had ADD.(which I already knew from reading about it!) Recently I was having real problems with my short term memory and was given female hormones by a nutritionist and my memory greatly improved. And I have a friend whose memory improved when she was treated for low thyroid. How many people are written off because drs. are not checking for other causes for memory loss? And how many other causes might there be?