by: Dr. Steven Ferguson
Dementia/Alzheimer’s disease is a public health crisis. The awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, as well as funding is lagging far behind the magnitude of this crisis. Increasing the awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and increasing funding are critical components of helping to better understand and treat this devastating disease.
- 3 to 5% of the population at age 65 will have Alzheimer’s disease.
- 15 to 20% of the population at age 75 will have Alzheimer’s disease.
- 40 to 50% of the population older than 85 will have Alzheimer’s disease.
- The earliest diagnosed patient with Alzheimer’s disease was 38 years old, and there is an increasing number of patients being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in their 50s.
- Proximally 5.4 million people in the United States has Alzheimer’s disease and about 18 million worldwide.
- Alzheimer’s disease has a very strong association with diabetes, hypertension, obesity and hypercholesterolemia
- In 2010, 14.9 million family and friends provided 17 billion hours of unpaid care to those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
- The economic value of the unpaid care provided to those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias totaled $202.6 billion in 2010.
- More than 60 percent of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers rate the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high; one-third report symptoms of depression.