New 2019 Alzheimer’s Association Report Reveals Sharp Increases in Alzheimer’s Prevalence, Deaths and Cost of Care
The number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s is growing — and growing fast. An estimated 5.8 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s.
An estimated 5.8 million Americans of all ages are living with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2019. This number includes an estimated 5.6 million people age 65 and older and approximately 200,000 individuals under age 65 who have younger-onset Alzheimer’s.
- One in 10 people age 65 and older (10 percent) has Alzheimer’s dementia.
- Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women.
- Older African-Americans are about twice as likely to have Alzheimer’s or other dementias as older whites.
- Hispanics are about one and one-half times as likely to have Alzheimer’s or other dementias as older whites.
Alzheimer’s is not just memory loss. Alzheimer’s kills.
- Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States.
- Alzheimer’s is the fifth-leading cause of death among those age 65 and older and is also is a leading cause of disability and poor health.
- Although deaths from other major causes have decreased significantly, official records indicate that deaths from Alzheimer’s disease have increased significantly. Between 2000 and 2017, the number of deaths from Alzheimer’s disease as recorded on death certificates has more than doubled, increasing 145 percent, while the number of deaths from the number one cause of death (heart disease) decreased 9 percent.
- Among people age 70, 61 percent of those with Alzheimer’s dementia are expected to die before the age of 80 compared with 30 percent of people without Alzheimer’s — a rate twice as high
Eighty-three percent of the help provided to older adults in the United States comes from family members, friends or other unpaid caregivers. Nearly half of all caregivers who provide help to older adults do so for someone living with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
Who are the caregivers?
- About one in three caregivers (34 percent) is age 65 or older.
- Approximately two-thirds of caregivers are women; more specifically, over one-third of dementia caregivers are daughters.
- Most caregivers (66 percent) live with the person with dementia in the community.
- Approximately one-quarter of dementia caregivers are “sandwich generation” caregivers — meaning that they care not only for an aging parent, but also for children under age 18.
The costs of health care and long-term care for individuals living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias are substantial, and dementia is one of the costliest conditions to society.
In 2019, Alzheimer’s and other dementias will cost the nation $290 billion, including $195 billion in Medicare and Medicaid payments. Unless something is done, in 2050, Alzheimer’s is projected to cost more than $1.1 trillion (in 2019 dollars). This dramatic rise includes more than four-fold increases both in government spending under Medicare and Medicaid and in out-of-pocket spending.
- People living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias have twice as many hospital stays per year as other older people.
- Medicare beneficiaries with Alzheimer’s or other dementias are more likely than those without dementia to have other chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease.
- Older people living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias have more skilled nursing facility stays and home health care visits per year than other older people.
- People living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias make up a large proportion of all elderly people who receive adult day services and nursing home care.