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Alzheimer's Disease: More Than 16 Million Americans Over 65 Years Could Be Affected By 2050

Alzheimer Association released an annual report on March 7, which suggests that number of Americans diagnosed with the disease is likely to increase with around 10 percent people being affected every 33 seconds.

The study suggests that by 2050 more than half the Americans aged 65 years and over will suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. This data is also applicable globally. Reports estimate that around 47 million people suffered from dementia in 2016.

Alzheimer’s Disease: Prevalence By 2050

The number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to reach 1.1 trillion by 2050. This is mainly because 10 percent of the people in low and middle income countries are left undiagnosed for Alzheimer’s.

“What is driving these numbers is that there is no disease modifying treatment, no prevention and no cure,” said Ruth Drew, director of family and information services for the Alzheimer’s Association.

She added that the death rate from several other diseases are on a decline while the rate of patients affected by Alzheimer’s gradually increasing. To elaborate, she further noted that deaths pertaining to the heart disease have declined by 14 percent, HIV deaths have declined by 54 percent, prostate cancer and stroke deaths by 9 percent and 21 percent, respectively.

Alzheimer’s Poses A Major Threat

A total of 5.5 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s disease per the Alzheimer’s Association report. Amongst them 5.3 million are of the age of 65 years or even older.

Around 10 percent of people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease are aged 65 and nearly two-third of them are women. The disease has not spared young people either as 200,000 individuals under the age of 65 have already started showing symptoms of early onset of Alzheimer’s

Lowering Rate Of Other Diseases Vs. Rise Of Alzheimer’s 

Other diseases compared to Alzheimer’s have declined majorly. This was made possible due to significant investments that have been made for research, of treatments and techniques to reduce and prevent the disease from occurring.

However, this is not the case with Alzheimer’s disease. Rudy Tanzi, a Harvard professor hinted that the presence of insufficient funds has prevented researchers from finding a cure of Alzheimer’s disease. He further states that scientists and researchers have the knowledge base and clues on how to prevent Alzheimer’s, but because of low budget the exploration remains stagnant.

Statistics suggests that total costs incurred for caring the patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related diseases was $259 billion. Perhaps, this suggests that the disease will collapse Medicare alone in the next decade.

Photo: Ann Gordon | Flickr




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(Via TechTimes)