Alzheimer's in the US

Elizabeth Underwood

More than 5 million Americans are living with this disease, in fact, An estimated 5.2 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease in 2014, including approximately 200,000 individuals younger than age 65 who have younger-onset Alzheimer's.

Approximately every 67 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's is officially the 6th leading cause of death in the United States and the 5th leading cause of death for those aged 65 and older. However, it may cause even more deaths than official sources recognize. It kills more than prostate cancer and breast cancer combined.

Alzheimer's disease is the most expensive condition in the nation. In 2014, the direct costs to American society of caring for those with Alzheimer's will total an estimated $214 billion, including $150 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid. Despite these staggering figures, Alzheimer's will cost an estimated $1.2 trillion (in today's dollars) in 2050.

Nearly one in every five dollars spent by Medicare is on people with Alzheimer's or another dementia. The average per-person Medicare spending for those with Alzheimer's and other dementias is three times higher than for those without these conditions. The average per-person Medicaid spending for seniors with Alzheimer's and other dementias is 19 times higher than average per-person Medicaid spending for all other seniors.

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