The advice in “Connecting the Dots” comes at a time when U.S. baby boomers are reaching their 60s. While acquiring Alzheimer’s is not necessarily part of the aging process, increased age is the greatest risk factor for the disease. And as life expectancy rates rise, so too will the diagnoses of Alzheimer’s.
•Between 2000 and 2006, the percentage of deaths from Alzheimer’s disease increased more than 47 percent, from 49,558 to 72,914.
•Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, and the fifth-leading cause among those 65 and older, with 5.3 million people afflicted with the disease.
•A new case is diagnosed every 70 seconds.
•An estimated 7.7 million Americans will have Alzheimer’s in 2030, and 11 million to 16 million in 2050.
•Alzheimer’s and other dementias cost Medicare, Medicaid and U.S. businesses approximately $148 billion annually.
Source: 2009 Alzheimer’s Association report