Increasing Longevity Drives the Alzheimer's Epidemic

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, longevity has ticked up in America with life expectancy climbing to almost 79 years.

Homicide and cancer, two prominent causes of death, both declined in the past year and contributed to longer lives across the American population.  This is good news overall, but belies a trend that will continue to redefine which risks and priorities demand our national focus.

An obvious implication of a longer life span is that medical conditions correlated with aging will become more prevalent.  This portends a rising incidence of Alzheimer's disease as a higher percentage of the population lives will into the years when they are most at risk for that terrible disease.

We all want to live longer, healthier lives and the general trend suggests that each of us enjoys a rising likelihood that we will do so.  But as we all traverse the lengthening arc of our elder years, we must face a shifting set of threats to our livelihood.  In today's reality, one of the key risks we must prepare to manage in the final years of our projected lives, is the risk of dementia caused by Alzheimer's disease.

Fortunately, a vast research effort is underway to identify manageable risks for AD and to develop guidelines for minimizing the likelihood of suffering its consequences.  We review that research on a regular basis in this blog and strive to keep our audience abreast of the latest developments in this important field.

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