Sharp increases in Alzheimer’s disease cases, deaths and costs are stressing the U.S. health care system and caregivers, a new report reveals. About 5.7 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease — 5.5 million of them aged 65 and older. By 2025, the number of seniors with Alzheimer’s could reach 7.1 million, up nearly 29 percent.
And, if no new treatments are found, that number could hit 13.8 million by 2050, according to the new report on Alzheimer’s disease facts and figures, published online March 20 by the Alzheimer’s Association.
Every 65 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease. By 2050, that will occur every 33 seconds, the experts said.
While deaths from other major causes continue to decline, Alzheimer’s deaths have more than doubled, rising 123 percent between 2000 and 2015. By comparison, the number of deaths from heart disease — the leading cause of death in the United States — fell 11 percent.
“This year’s report illuminates the growing cost and impact of Alzheimer’s on the nation’s health care system, and also points to the growing financial, physical and emotional toll on families facing this disease,” said Keith Fargo. He directs scientific programs and outreach for the Alzheimer’s Association.
“Soaring prevalence, rising mortality rates and lack of an effective treatment all lead to enormous costs to society. Alzheimer’s is a burden that’s only going to get worse,” he said in an association news release.
The estimated cost of caring for Americans with Alzheimer’s and other dementias is $277 billion this year — and that doesn’t include unpaid caregiving.