Did You Know …?
Every 67 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s, with the number of those suffering with the disease reaching an estimated 5.2 million in 2014. Numbers like these make the likelihood that you know someone—even love someone—with this disease very high!
Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Those suffering with the disease have a life expectancy of only eight to 10 years and will usually die from co-existing illnesses, most frequently pneumonia.
Women vs. men
Women have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s than their husbands and brothers. 3.2 million Alzheimer’s sufferers are women and 1.8 million are men. The lifetime risk for a woman in her 60s of developing Alzheimer’s is 1 in 6, compared to 1 in 11 for breast cancer.
While the disease can occur in people in their 50s, 40s and even 30s, early on-set accounts for only about 10 percent of the Alzheimer’s population. Most of those with Alzheimer’s are over 65.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most expensive health condition in the U.S. In 2014, the direct costs will total about $214 billion, including $150 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid.
In 2013, 15.5 million caregivers provided an estimated 17.7 billion hours of unpaid care valued at more than $220 billion. Just as most Alzheimer’s patients are women, most caregivers are also women—in fact, more than 60 percent.
As baby boomers get older, the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias will escalate rapidly. By 2025, the number of those with the disease is expected to reach 7.1 million.